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448 infra projects hit by cost overrun of ₹5.55 lakh crore in Oct-Dec : Reports

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NEW DELHI : As many as 448 infrastructure projects, each entailing an investment of ₹150 crore or above, were hit by cost overrun of more than ₹5.55 lakh crore during the December 2023 quarter, an official report stated.

The Quarterly Project Implementation Status Report (QPISR) on Central Sector Projects (costing ₹150 crore and above) for the third quarter of 2023-24, contains detailed information on 1,897 projects. The QPISR is prepared by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Out of 1,897 projects, 448 projects had the cost overrun of ₹5,55,352.41 crore, which is 65.2% of their sanctioned cost.

However, it stated that with regard to the latest approved cost, 292 projects had reported a cost overrun of ₹2,89,699.46 crore.

Further, 276 projects are having both time and cost overruns.

Out of 1,897 projects, 56 projects were ahead of schedule, 632 projects were on schedule, 902 projects were delayed.

Further, it stated that for 307 projects, either the original or the anticipated date of completion was not reported or had lapsed.

The anticipated completion cost of these 1,897 projects is reported to be ₹31,74,489.91 crore.

The expenditure as of December 31, 2023, was ₹16,89,400.92 crore which works out to 53.22% of the total anticipated completion cost and 63.9% of the original cost. For these 1,897 projects, a total outlay of ₹3,70,983.54 crore has been allocated for 2023-24, it stated.

The percentage of delayed projects changed from 56.70% in quarter ended December 2022 to 47.55% in the third quarter of FY24. The percentage of cost overrun reduced from 21.42% to 20.1%.

Reasons for time overrun, as reported by various project implementing agencies, include delay in land acquisition, obtaining forest and environment clearances and law and order problems.

The report also cited state-wise lockdowns due to COVID-19 (imposed in 2020 and 2021) as a reason for the delay in implementing these projects.

While the cost overruns due to general price escalation could not be avoided, the cost escalation on account of delay could be minimized, it stated.

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