After dull first year, Modi govt picks speed on infrastructure
The Narendra Modi government has approved about 300 infrastructure projects with a minimum investment size of Rs 150 crore each across the country in the last one year. Among the states that attracted substantial investments include the BJP-ruled ones like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and poll-bound states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, reveals a response from the ministry of statistics and programme implementation to a Lok Sabha query.
Road projects including Modi's constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and projects to improve connectivity to Kudankulam atomic energy plant, Nagpur ring road package in Maharashtra are among the recently approved projects. The problem of delayed completion of ongoing infrastructure projects, however, continues.
In his response, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, minister for statistics and programme implementation stated that as on June 2016, a total of 1,076 ongoing projects are being monitored by the ministry. Of these, 330 projects are showing time overruns, 241 projects are showing cost overrun of approximately Rs 1.6 lakh crore and 70 projects are showing both time and cost overruns with respect to their original project implementation schedules.
The minister pointed out that the causes for time and cost overruns are project-specific, and depend on a variety of technical, financial and administrative factors, and differ from project to project. However, the main reasons for delay in timely completion of the projects are law and order problems, delay in land acquisition, delay in environment and forest clearances, funding constraints, rehabilitation and resettlement issues, local body / municipal permissions, utility shifting, contractual issues, etc, he pointed out.
According to the minister, the major steps undertaken to ensure completion of Central Sector Infrastructure Projects without time and cost overruns include rigorous project appraisal, Online Computerized Monitoring System, setting up of Standing Committees in the Ministries for fixation of responsibility for time and cost overruns.