Infrastructure Boom: Central Government Completes 281 Projects, Second-Highest In Decade

The Central Government successfully completed 281 government projects worth more than Rs 150 crore in the financial year 2022–2023.

This is slightly less than the 329 projects completed last year. According to government data, this achievement is the second-highest completion rate in almost ten years.

However, the proportion of delayed projects stood at 41.6% in March, up from 41.2% the previous month.

Also, the cost overrun ratio reached 18.65 percent from 18.19 percent last month, the highest in the last three months. The increase was due to the estimated cost of 1,873 projects costing Rs 5 lakh crore more than the original estimate of Rs 31.9 lakh crore.

As many as 779 projects were delayed by the end of March, of which 51% were pending for more than two years, with an average delay of 36.04 months, nearly three years.

According to a government release, three (two in the roads sector and one in the telecom sector) projects were launched in March, while 32 projects (seven in the roads sector, 23 in the petroleum sector, and two in the power sector) were completed.

The Economic Times said the release showed a worrying trend where project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, leading to underreporting of time and cost overrun figures.

A regional analysis observed that the costs of all Indian Railways and water resources projects exceeded original estimates by 54 percent and 197 percent, respectively.

More than half (149) of the 249 railway projects monitored had cost overruns, while 9 out of 41 water resources projects had this ratio. Also, road projects, which have the largest number of ongoing projects, accounted for nearly one-fifth of cost overruns.

In terms of time overruns, 109 out of 249 railway projects and about 40% of road projects were delayed, which shows the challenges in timely project execution in these sectors.

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