The Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation recently released its flash report on the progress in the 1,449 infrastructure projects of the Central government, with a cost of Rs 150 crore or more, as of March 2023.

According to the report, 821 projects are behind schedule, with 165 projects reporting additional delays beyond their latest completion dates announced in February 2023. Of the 165 projects, 52 are Mega projects costing Rs 1,000 crore or more.

The original cost of implementing the 1,449 projects was Rs 20,69,658.30 crore, and their anticipated cost is estimated to be Rs 25,25,348.87 crore, reflecting an overall cost overrun of Rs 455,690.57 crore (i.e. 22.02 percent of the original cost). As of March 2023, the expenditure incurred on these projects is Rs 1,390,736.58 crore, which is 55.07 percent of the anticipated cost.

Out of the 1,449 projects, 12 are ahead of schedule, 283 are on schedule, and 354 projects reported cost overruns, while 247 projects reported both time and cost overruns with respect to their original project implementation schedules. However, if the delay is calculated based on the latest completion schedule, the number of delayed projects decreases to 616. The report also shows that for 333 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.

Among the 821 delayed projects, 190 projects have a delay of 1 to 12 months, 177 projects have a delay of 13 to 23 months, 325 projects have a delay of 25 to 60 months, and 129 projects have a delay of more than 60 months. The average time overrun for the 821 delayed projects is 37.79 months.

The Ministry acknowledges that some project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which could mean that time and cost overrun figures may be under reported.

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