Stating that several instances of time and cost overruns in airport projects have been noticed, a parliamentary committee has asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to set up an appropriate mechanism to prevent such cases and ensure full utilisation of funds allocated to it.
The recommendation came after the AAI sought a 250 per cent hike in its spending in the 11th Plan compared with the 10th Plan. While the state-run airports body spent Rs 3,534.62 crore in the 10th Plan, it has sought Rs 12,417.17 crore for the 11th Plan period.
In its latest report, the Committee on Public Undertakings (CoPU) headed by senior Congress leader V Kishore Chandra S Deo pointed out that time overrun cases relating to airport modernisation and development projects have continued even after the panel asked AAI to take steps to avoid cost and time overruns.
In its response, the Civil Aviation Ministry said efforts would be made to execute projects in a time-bound manner.
But the Committee observed that the instances of cost and time overruns noticed in the audit was "a clear indication that no specific efforts seem to have been made by the project management cell in AAI to periodically assess the work of ongoing projects" as recommended by it earlier.
It asked the AAI to take "concrete action" to ensure periodical assessment of the progress made in ongoing projects by its project management cell.
The AAI should also establish an appropriate mechanism to plan and ensure full utilisation of funds, the CoPU added.
It observed that the situation regarding utilisation of funds had improved "only since the last two years".
The shortfall in expenditure, which had recorded an "all-time high" at 58.35 per cent in 2000-01, came down to 23.72 per cent in 2004-05.
In 2006-07, funds to the extent of 90.46 per cent were utilised due to various measures taken to improve capital expenditure, the panel said.