An update as of December 2021, from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation covers 1,679 projects. These are central sector projects, each costing Rs 150 crore or more across 10 areas–roads, railways, power, petroleum, urban development, coal, water, atomic energy, steel and telecommunication.
Out of these projects, 11 are ahead of schedule, 292 are on schedule, and 541 are delayed. There are 835 projects where neither the year of commissioning nor the expected date of completion is available and that is simply not acceptable.
The original cost of implementation of these projects together was about Rs 23 lakh crore and the anticipated cost to completion is about Rs 27 lakh crore. That’s showing a cost overrun of Rs 4-5 lakh crore, which is 20% of the original cost. So, as you can see, focusing on project execution is not only timely but extremely necessary.
It is not that the government is not seized of the enormity of the problem. The online Computerised Monitoring System, or OCMS, maintained by the Infrastructure and Project Monitoring Division of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has been in existence for quite some time.
But the grouse of the ministry is that the project execution agencies concerned do not upload their milestones, achievements or failures regularly.