Infrastructure is a key area that can make a critical difference between success and failure of Indian economy. Therefore, the government policy on the economy should prioritize this area and lay all their weights on infrastructure so that there is no comprise on its quality, delivery, and deadline.
However, what is happening in India is just the opposite. There have been 359 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs. 150 crore and above have been subject to cost overrun worth Rs 2.18 lakh crore because of delays and other reasons, a government report has said.
The infrastructure projects worth Rs.150 crore and above are monitored by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme.
“Total original cost of implementation of the 1,302 projects was Rs 16,20,089.45 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 18,38,119.90 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 2,18,030.45 crore (13.46 percent of the original cost),” the ministry’s latest flash report for December 2017 has stated.
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Out of the total number of projects, there have cost overruns in 359 projects with an escalation that eclipse 287 times.
The report further states that the incurred expenditure of these projects as of December 2017, stands at Rs 6,58,680.80 crore. This figure constitutes only 35.83 percent of the anticipated cost of the projects.
“Out of a total of 1,302 projects, 4 projects have reported completion and 17 new projects have been initiated on the monitor of this ministry during the current month. Of these, 15 projects are ahead of schedule, 310 are on schedule, 287 are delayed, 359 projects are showing cost overruns and 104 projects are showing both time and cost overrun with respect to original implementation schedules,” the report said.
The figure of the delayed projects, according to the calculation made with respect to the latest revised schedules of completion, decreases to 250.
The projects, where anticipated or original commissioning date has not been reported has been for 690 projects. For these projects, monitoring is carried out for completion vis-a-vis the targeted dates. Out of these 287 delayed projects, 73 projects have delays of 61 months and above, 103 projects for 25 to 60 months, 58 projects for 13 to 24 months, and 53 projects for 1 to 12 months.
Therefore, it can be concluded that implementation of the infrastructure projects has been far from being optimal. On the other hand, if India has to turn around economically, it has to improve its infrastructure to be beneficiaries of investments. This is one area that Nitin Gadkari should give his all so that there is no gap between what is planned and what is implemented. Otherwise, economic doldrums of India will continue and the vicious cycle cannot be broken.