The railways is at the top of the heap amongst Central government ministries with the maximum number of projects facing time and cost over-runs.
One hundred and forty seven railway projects worth a whopping Rs 1, 26,174.41 crore are pending; cost over-runs working out to as much as 83.99%.The 36th report of the parliamentary standing committee on the ministry of statistics and program implementation - tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday - brings out another glaring fact: Twenty six railway projects worth Rs 39,580.32 crore which have suffered time over-runs ranging from 3 to 225 months.
The nearest that another central government ministry comes to the Railways is the Power ministry, with 83 projects worth Rs 18,289.32 crore pending. Cost over-runs of the ministry's pending project are miniscule in comparison - at 3.08%.
Across 13 Central government ministries, 572 projects worth Rs 71,4713.86 crore are pending - the cost over-runs working out to 20.70%. Two hundred and ninety nine other projects worth Rs 38,2338.42 crore are suffering time over over-runs.
Shortly after being sworn in, new railways minister Dinesh Trivedi told journalists that ensuring completion of pending projects will be among his high-priority jobs.
However, in the last three years alone, the railways have added 91 projects costing Rs 31, 245.38 crore to the pending list.
The longest pending project is the Howrah-Amta- Champadanga line, which had been included in the budget of 1974-75.