Plan panel in a presentation to Modi said investments of Rs 5.6 lakh cr have already been made on 707 projects.
Highlighting the plight of the country’s infrastructure sector, the Planning Commission has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that 83 per cent of over 700 central sector projects have sustained cost overruns of nearly Rs 1,90,000 crore and delays of up to 12 years.
In a telling commentary of the infrastructure projects, the commission in a presentation to Modi last week said investments of Rs 5.6 lakh crore have already been made on 707 central sector projects including roads, railways, airports, ports, telecom and power sectors, but another Rs 5.7 lakh crore is required to ensure their completion. Of these 707 projects, the Railways incurred the biggest delays, with 274 of its projects missing completion targets. Of these 274 projects, 236 have no date of commissioning, including the coal evacuation projects in Jharkhand.
Railways is followed by the road sector as 118 of its projects are delayed, with 26 having no date of commissioning. The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has been able to toll only 435 km of highways in 2013-14 against a target of 2,148 km. The ministry along with National Highways Authority of India has completed construction of 1,984 km out of targeted 6,300 km, according to the presentation that was made on November 5.
According to the plan panel, the projects are delayed due to a variety of reasons including delay in land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation issues, environment and forest norms and adverse law and order situation in some cases.
Similarly, in the ports and inland waterways sector, the government had set a target for bidding out 26 ports but the Shipping Ministry has managed to bid out only half of the number. While enhancing tonnage capacity to 218 million tonne is targeted in 2014-15, a capacity of 50.97 MT has been achieved so far.
Most importantly, although an investment target of Rs 22,536 crore has been set for the Shipping Ministry, the sector has witnessed an investment of Rs 6,893.04 crore from April to October this year, according to the presentation.
In the power sector too, the government has been able to ensure electricity generation of 11,715 MW against a target of 20,882 MW during the April-October period. According to the presentation, electricity has been provided to 181 towns against a target of 350 towns. In coal production, the state-run Coal India has achieved an output of 313.97 million tonne during the April-October period against a target of 630.25 MT for 2014-15, while coal imports to the tune of 50 MT took place against target of 94 MT.