New Delhi: As many as 331 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs150 crore or above, have seen a cost overrun of Rs1.72 trillion because of various reasons including delays, according to a government report.

Ministry of statistics and programme implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs150 crore and above. The total original cost of implementing 1,257 projects was Rs15,76,903.56 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs17,49,274.62 crore, cost overrun of Rs1,72,371.06 crore (10.93% of the original), the ministry’s flash report for July this year has stated.

The expenditure incurred on these projects till July is Rs6,80,016.96 crore, which is 38.87% of the total anticipated cost. The 1,257 projects in question include 331 that reported cost overrun and 274 time escalation.

“Out of a total of 1,257 projects, 2 projects have reported completion and 10 new projects have been initiated on the monitor of this ministry during the current month (July). Of these, 11 projects are ahead of schedule, 304 are on schedule and 274 are delayed, 331 projects are showing cost overrun and 92 projects are showing both time and cost overrun with respect to original implementation schedules."

However, the report said that the number of delayed projects decreases to 215 if delay is calculated with reference to latest revised schedules of completion. The report also highlights that for 668 projects, the original/anticipated commissioning dates were not reported by the authorities concerned. It further said that out of 274 delayed projects, 47 have overall delay in the range of 1 to 12 months, 59 have delay in the range of 13 to 24 months, 101 have delay in the range of 25 to 60 months and 67 have delay of 61 months and above.

Of the 1,257 projects, 372 are mega projects worth Rs1,000 crore and above. The total original cost of implementation of these 372 projects was Rs12,17,096.27 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs13,60,528.92 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs1,43,432.65 crore (11.78% of the original cost).

The expenditure incurred on these mega projects till July was Rs5,70,750.91 crore, which is 41.95% of the anticipated cost of the projects. Out of the 372 mega projects, 130 have cost overruns with respect to original cost and the number of such projects decreased to 103 when cost overrun is calculated on the basis of revised cost. The report attributes the time overrun to a host of issues including delay in land acquisition, forest clearance, supply of equipment, funds constraints, Maoist incursion, legal cases and law and order situation.