The Planning Commission on Monday set up a special cell to monitor progress of infrastructure projects in the areas of power, roads, ports, civil aviation and railways on quarterly and annual basis. The move comes at a time when there has been considerable and repeated slippage in managing targets for infrastructure expansion such that the projects are now threatening to be a drag on the Indian economy. Data released by the Planning Commission itself suggests that for 2009-10, only 78% of the 17,563 circuit km target set for transmission lines in the power sector could be put up; only 66% of 14,507MW of capacity could be added; only 63% of the 3,166km of construction targets were met; and only 39% of the Rs2,952 crore expenditure outlay on road construction was utilized for 2009-10. Earlier evaluations of infrastructure projects through the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, or MoSPI, have also shown that between April 2009 and March 2010 several projects relating to railways, shipping and ports failed to meet the set targets. According to the Planning Commission, the quarterly and annual reviews will be posted on its website and hence publicly accessible. The assessment of targets and achievements will also be forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office as also the cabinet committee on infrastructure. However, critics believe that this is not sufficient to address the problem and sufficient caution should be exerted to ensure that it is not reduced to an intra-government tussle for turf.
Also See Infra Projects (Graphic)
Graphic by Paras Jain / Mint