Several rail projects behind schedule, cost overruns in crores: Govt data
New Delhi: Delay in execution of a number of key Railway projects has resulted in cost overruns of more than 100 percent, according to the latest government data.
While freight operation information system, approved in March 1983 at an estimated cost of Rs 520 crore, is running behind schedule by 204 months, construction of the Lanjigarh-Junagarh new line has been on for 120 months, as per the latest data compiled by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
The cost overrun of these two unfinished projects is Rs 114 crore and Rs 127 crore respectively, it said.
Out of 562 projects that the ministry monitored, 132 belonged to the Railway sector.
The total original cost of implementation of these 132 projects is of the order of Rs 65,054.70 crore and their anticipated completion cost is Rs 134,133.50 crore which reflects a cost overrun of more than 106 per cent. The expenditure incurred on these projects till December 2011 was Rs 56,395 crore, as per the data.
The range of delay in Guna-Etawah new line project is close to 213 months.
"There are 53 projects for which either original date of commissioning or the anticipated date of commissioning has not been provided by Railways," it said. These include 11 projects whose anticipated date of completion was over but the projects were still on.
MoSPI has found 102 projects facing cost overruns. While the original cost of these projects was Rs 37,373.60 crore at the end of March 2011, the anticipated cost have been reported as Rs 106,509.20 crore, projecting an overall cost overrun of 185 percent.
Railways officials said the major reason for delay is the non-availability of adequate funds for large number of new lines, gauge conversion and doubling projects.
According to the data, the Howrah-Amta-Champadanga new line project is behind schedule by 84 months and the Utratia-Zafarabad doubling project by 51 months as on December 2011.
The report said out of 40 projects which were due for commissioning in the financial year 2011-12, only eight have been completed till December 2011.
MoSPI officials said in several cases, the fault lay with the Railway ministers, who in their bid to "appease their constituency or woo fellow Parliamentarians, went about announcing projects without funding and follow-up".
In addition, the report said a number of projects were facing land acquisition and rehabilitation problems due to lack of proper response from the state governments.