NEW DELHI: A recent monthly flash report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has revealed that there have been considerable cost overruns in the central government’s Dwarka Expressway project.
In some packages of the Dwarka Expressway there have been cost overruns to the tune of 47% of the original cost of the package.
These packages mostly consisted of railway overbridges and underbridges for the expressway.
The flash report for August 2023 contains information on the status of the 1762 central sector infrastructure projects costing Rs 150 crore and above.
During the reference month, out of 1762 projects, 132 projects (112 railway projects, 15 road projects, four power projects and one project from the telecommunications sector) were completed.
Total of 830 projects are delayed with respect to their original schedules and 167 projects have reported additional delays vis-à-vis their date of completion reported in the previous month. Of these 167 projects, 59 are Mega Projects costing 1000 crore and above.
Total original cost of implementation of the 1762 projects was Rs 25.01 lakh crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 29.78 lakh crore. This reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4.77 lakh crore, 19.08% more than the original cost.
The expenditure incurred on these projects till August 2023 is Rs 15.57 lakh crore, which is 52.28% of the anticipated cost of the projects.
Out of the 1762 projects,43 projects are ahead of schedule,550 are on schedule, 830 are delayed, 412 projects reported cost overrun and 264 projects reported both time and cost overrun with respect to their original project implementation schedules.
However, the number of delayed projects decreases to 624 if delay is calculated on the basis of the latest schedule of completion. Further, for 339 projects neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.
The average time overrun in these 830 delayed projects is 36.96 months.
The reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies are: delay in land acquisition, delay in obtaining forest and environment clearances, lack of infrastructure support and linkages, delay in tie-up of project financing, law and order issues and contractual issues among other things.
An audit report by CAG, in August this year, had pointed out cost escalation in the Dwarka Expressway project.
Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on the other hand had expressed dismay over the handling of this issue by the officials of his ministry and NHAI.