Development is the sole poll plank of Gujarat chief minister and PM hopeful Narendra Modi. In all his election speeches, Modi promises to bring the momentum back to the infrastructure sector if his party came to power.
Modi ought to know. Gujarat is among the 13 opposition-ruled states – four of which have BJP government — where a very high number of infrastructure projects are stuck for over two years or more for want of various regulatory clearances.
Of the BJP-ruled states, while Chhattisgarh has 31 projects worth about Rs. 2 lakh crore stuck, Madhya Pradesh has 18, Gujarat 14 and, in Rajasthan, 12 projects are held up.
These projects in power, highways, port and railways sector have been stuck for over a year or more due to delay in getting environment clearances, land acquisition, delay in signing fuel supply agreement, etc.
In all, 438 projects entailing an investment of Rs. 21.61 lakh crore have been registered with the cabinet secretariat’s Project Monitoring Group (PMG) set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last June to fasttrack stalled projects.
An analysis of the data available with PMG shows as on date Orissa has the maximum number (55) of projects stuck.
They entail a total investment of over Rs. 8 lakh crore. Jharkhand (32) and Maharashtra (28) are second and third on the list.
So far, the PMG has got issues resolved for 152 projects worth Rs. 5.33 lakh crore. These projects are now ready for takeoff.
The PMG’s success in resolving issues holding up key projects has now resulted in many states — Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal and Assam — writing to the Centre for help in setting up similar monitoring cells at the state level.