As many as 412 infrastructure projects, each worth at least Rs 150 crore, have reported total cost overruns of over Rs 4.11 lakh crore, according to data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
The data showed that as of July 1, out of 1,683 central sector infrastructure projects costing Rs 150 crore and above, 412 projects reported cost overruns while 471 have been delayed.
Only nine of the total projects are ahead of their schedule and 224 are on schedule. The report noted that 182 projects reported both time and cost overruns with respect to their original project implementation schedules.
“Total original cost of implementation of the 1,683 projects was Rs 20,65,336.20 crore and their anticipated completion cost likely to be Rs 24,77,167.67 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,11,831.47 crore (19.94 per cent of original cost). The expenditure incurred on these projects till June 2020 is Rs 11,21,435.29 crore, which is 45.27 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects,” it said.
The ‘Flash Report On Central Sector Projects’ noted that the number of delayed projects decreases to 418, if the delay is calculated on the basis of the latest schedule of completion. Further, for 979 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported, it said.
The average time overrun in these delayed projects is 43.34 months, as per the report.
Various project implementing agencies attributed time overruns in project implementation to delays in land acquisition and environment clearances, lack of infrastructure support and linkages, delay in tie-ups for project financing, finalisation of detailed engineering, changes in scope and delays in tendering among other factors.
The report said that it has been observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time or cost overrun figures are “underreported”.