While there is a lot that is going on when it comes to development of infrastructure for a ‘new and better’ India, it seems that the reality is a little off than what’s apparent to the eyes and ears. The Central Government recently released a report that gives a list of the delayed infrastructure projects in India up until September 2022, with road transport and highways topping the charts for unfulfilled ventures.
According to the report, road transport and highways sector has 262 delayed projects out of 835, followed by railways at 115 out of 173, and the petroleum sector at 89 out of 140 projects. The Infrastructure and Project Monitoring Division (IPMD), that comes under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, is mandated to monitor central sector infrastructure projects costing ₹150 crore and above.
Among the 3 rail projects been delayed for an astonishing period of more than 20 years, the Muneerabad-Mahaboobnagar rail project lies unfinished for 276 months (23 years) post its deadline. The second-most delayed project is the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail project, delayed by 247 months. Third comes the Belapur-Seawood-Urban Electrified Double Line with a delay of 228 months.
The total original cost of implementation of 173 projects when sanctioned, was of the order of INR 3,72,761.45 crore, which later increased to INR 6,23,008.98 crore, implying a cost overrun of 67.1%. Further on, till September 2022 the Government has spent another INR 3,50,349.9 crore on these projects, which is 56.2% of the anticipated cost of the projects.
Additionally, the report stated that the total original cost of implementation of 835 road transport and highway projects when sanctioned was INR 4,94,300.45 crore, which gradually rose by 6.5% to cost INR 5,26,481.88 crore. The expenditure incurred on these projects till September 2022 is INR 3,21,980.33 crore, which is 61.2% of the anticipated cost of the projects.
In the petroleum sector, it said the total original cost of implementation of 140 projects when sanctioned, was of the order of INR 3,64,330.55 crore, which rose to INR 3,84,102.18 crore, showing a cost overrun of 5.4%. The expenditure incurred on these projects till September 2022 is ₹1,38,460.78 crore, which is 36% of the anticipated cost of the projects.
With the Government of India trying so hard to reduce our logistics cost and place India in the top countries on multiple global indices, it has become rather imperative to fix these time and cost overruns. Only then can the world trust the economy enough to make us one of the most powerful countries on the global map.