As many as 443 infrastructure projects, each entailing investment of Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns totaling more than Rs 4.45 lakh crore, according to a report.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects of Rs 150 crore and above.
Of 1,671 such projects, 443 projects reported cost overruns, and 514 projects were delayed.
"Total original cost of implementation of the 1671 projects was Rs 22,54,175.77 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 26,99,651.62 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,45,475.85 crore (19.76% of original cost)," the ministry's latest report for January 2022 said.
According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till January 2022 was Rs 13,16,293.63 crore or 48.76 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects.
However, the number of delayed projects decreases to 381 if the delay is calculated on the basis of the latest schedule of completion.
Further, for 881 projects neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.
Out of the 514 delayed projects, 89 have overall delays in the range of 1-12 months, 113 have been delayed for 13-24 months, 204 projects for 25-60 months, and 108 projects have delays of 61 months and above.
The average time overrun in these 514 delayed projects is 46.23 months.
Reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies include delay in land acquisition, delay in obtaining forest and environment clearances, and lack of infrastructure support and linkages.
Delay in tie-up for project financing, delay in finalization of detailed engineering, change in scope, delay in tendering, ordering and equipment supply, and law and order problems are among the other reasons.
The report also cited state-wise lockdowns due to Covid-19 as a reason for the delay in implementation of these projects.
It has also been observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time/cost overrun figures are under-reported, it stated.