Main reasons are problems in land acquisition and delay in securing green clearances.
New Delhi: As many as 350 Central infrastructure and development projects worth Rs 3.38 lakh crore are facing cost overruns, while over 360 such projects are facing delay with respect to their original schedules, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation to the Rajya Sabha earlier this week.
The Ministry monitors, all ongoing Central sector infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above and a total of 1,361 projects were on the monitor of the Ministry, of which 358 projects are showing cost overruns.
The cost overrun of these infrastructure projects till September this year has been more than 20%, amounting to Rs 3,58,004.37 crore over and above the original cost of these projects.
Railways, road transport and highways have the maximum number of projects which are being delayed, followed by the power, coal and urban development sectors, respectively. The railways have over 94 projects which have been facing delays for years, while road transport and highways have some 90 projects that are facing delays, leading to cost overruns.
Out of the 350 infrastructure and development projects that have been facing delays and cost overruns, 30 are “Mega Projects”. “Mega Projects” are those projects which had been commissioned with over Rs 1,000 crore.
Authorities implementing the projects have said that the major reasons for significant delays in projects and cost overruns are due to factors like problems in land acquisition, delay in securing environmental and forest clearances, funding constraints, rehabilitation and resettlement issues, local body permissions and contractual issues.
There are several infrastructure projects which have been pending for years—for example, in the railways sector, the Lalitpur-Satna-Rewa-Singruli railway line was commissioned in 1998 at a cost of Rs 247.66 crore, but the cost of construction of this line has risen to Rs 6,093 crore by September this year and the project is yet to be completed. While the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramullah railway project was commissioned in 1995 to be completed with Rs 2,500 crore, the entire project is yet to be completed and the cost of this project has risen to Rs 27,949 crore.
In the road transport sector, the Panipat-Jalandhar six-lane expressway is pending completion for years and the cost of this project has nearly doubled since 2009 when the project was commissioned. This project, which was commissioned in 2009 at an estimated cost of Rs 1,108 crore, has seen cost overrun up to Rs 2,288 crore by September this year.
However, Minister of State (MoS) for Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Vijay Goel told the Parliament that the government is undertaking all steps to ensure that the projects are completed on time and do not face cost overruns. He also said that the Prime Minister also takes a periodic review of all infrastructure projects to monitor their progress.