The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India reprimanded the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) for several delays on EDFC and WDFC on account of slow pace in handing over the land to contractors, utility shifting, design delays and delays in the overhead equipment works, among others, leading to cost overruns. In the sections reviewed by CAG (Rewari-Iqbalgarh and Vaitarna-JNPT sections of WDFC, and Khurja-Bhaupur and Bhaupur-Deen Dayal Upadhayaya sections of EDFC), it was revealed that it cost a hefty amount of INR 2233.81 crore to DFCCIL owing to the price escalations. DFCCIL further anticipated future liability of INR 2,671.29 crore in this regard.
“The primary reasons for granting extension of time, among other things, include the delay in handing over of land to the contractors, delay in finalization of design, delay in utility shifting, delay in achieving milestones by the interface contractors.”CAG Report
Audit test checked contracting procedures, execution and other related issues pertaining to the four sections of the project. The EDFC connects Ludhiana, Punjab to Dankuni, West Bengal and the WDFC connects Dadri, Uttar Pradesh to JNPT, Mumbai. Of this, only 351-km Khurja-Bhaupur section on the EDFC and 306-km Rewari-Madar section on the WDFC have been commissioned till date. Although, all sections of the EDFC and WDFC were supposed to be accomplished by June 2022, with the delays and current pace of work, it seems a far-away land to reach.
“Even after passage of around one and a half years from the stipulated date of completion, the progress of different activities in respect of OHE works ranged between 26.80% and 72.33%,” said the CAG, pointing delays on the overhead engineering front.
The DFC Project, a part of the PM Gati Shakti Yojna, is an ambitious one and is under continuous review of the PMO in order to haste the completion, which has already been delayed a few times.