• 238 infra projects to cost Rs 1.6 lakh crore more on delays

    Project cost of as many as 238 infrastructure projects, monitored by the Statistics Ministry, have overshot by Rs 1.6 lakh crore from their original estimates due to delays on account land acquisition forest clearances and other reasons, official data showed.

    The Statistics Ministry is monitoring 1,071 infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore or above each in various sectors such as power, railways and road.

    During February 2016, of 1071 projects, 238 projects reported cost overruns and 341 projects reported time delays.

    “Total original cost of implementation of 1,071 projects was Rs 12,66,248.36 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 14,26,985.93 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 1,60,737.57 crore (12.69 per cent of original cost),” the data by Statistics Ministry showed.

    According to the data, expenditure incurred on these projects till February 2016 was Rs 5,66,058.05 crore, which is 39.67 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects.

    However, compared to April 2015, the number of projects reporting cost overruns came down to 22.22 per cent in February 2016 from 30.47 per cent of total monitored projects last year. Projects reporting time overruns fell to 31.84 per cent in February this year from 42.61 per cent in April 2015.

    In April 2015, out of 758 projects on the monitor of Statistics Ministry, 231 projects reported cost overruns and 323 projects reported time overruns.

    Speedy implementation of projects assumes significance in view of government’s push to move towards high growth trajectory of over 8 per cent and touch double digit mark in few years.

    According to the Ministry’s report on these projects, the reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies are delay in land acquisition, delay in forest clearance and delay in supply of equipment.

    The other such reasons are fund constraints, geological surprises, problems in equipment erection, geo-mining conditions, slow progress in civil works, shortage of labour, inadequate mobilisation by the contractor, Maoist problems, court cases, contractual issues, ROU/ROW problems, law and order situation etc. Joel Edmundson Jersey

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