The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has left behind 14 other infrastructure sectors, including railways, petroleum, coal and power, in having the maximum number of delayed projects.
In the latest flash report (for September 2011) on the status of the 566 infrastructure projects in the central sector costing Rs 150 crore and above, being monitored by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the road and highways sector has topped the list of delayed projects. As many as 90 of the 132 projects, which are now underway, report ed delays from one to 60 months.
Even the overall progress of a bulk of infrastructure projects, other than roads, which are underway, is hardly satisfactory. Of the 566 projects, only five are ahead of schedule. As many as 234 projects are delayed and 124 have been sanctioned without any commissioning date or schedule. Only 150 projects are on schedule. An 18% cost-overrun has been reported in these 566 projects.
Of the 90, 59 road projects have been delayed for around 25-60 months, while 12 projects have been delayed for 13-24 months. As many as 11 projects have been delayed for more than 60 moths and in eight projects have been delayed for 1-12 months. Work on only 42 projects is on track.
This tardy progress is set to jeopardise the ministry's ambitious target of building 20-km roads a day. In 2011-12, the ministry might have stepped up awarding of highway projects, but it has failed to ensure speedy completion of the ongoing projects. Till December 2011, the ministry was able to build just 8-km roads per day. However, during this period, it awarded 5059 km stretch of highways to private developers.
When sanctioned, the total original cost of implementation of these 132 projects was Rs 72461.45 crore, but this was subsequently revised to Rs 74266 crore, implying a cost overrun of 2.5 %. Power sector stands at the second position and petroleum sector at the third in the list of delayed projects.