6 mega Central Sector Projects in J&K facing enormous cost, time overrun

Lack of cooperation from State on various aspects major reason
Executing agencies not reporting milestones to MoSPI

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Nov 12: Six mega Central Sector Projects costing Rs 1000 crore and above have been facing enormous cost and time overrun because of varied reasons including lack of necessary cooperation from the State Government on various important aspects. Moreover, the executing agencies are not reporting milestones about their respective projects to the Union Government despite explicit directives in this regard from time to time.
As per the latest report of the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, 10 mega Central Sector Infrastructure Projects costing Rs 1000 crore and above are under execution in Jammu and Kashmir during the past several years.
The original cost of these 10 projects is Rs 25,238.37 crore while as the anticipated cost is Rs 51,229.67 crore. Of these two projects having original cost of Rs 4,288.41 crore and anticipated cost of Rs 30,279.71 crore are facing cost overrun of Rs 606.08 crore because of delay in their completion.
Moreover, four projects having original cost of Rs 14,387.53 crore and anticipated cost of Rs 40,378.83 crore are facing time overrun of 12 months to 193 months as a result of which intended objectives of these projects could not be achieved till date even after enormous expenditure.
Elaborating further, the report said that 1000 Mega Watts Pakal Dul Hydro Electric Project being executed by the Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited (CVPPL) was approved in October 2014 at the cost of Rs 8,112.12 crore.
The original date of commissioning of this project of immense importance for Jammu and Kashmir is April 2020 but now due to delay in work on the project it is anticipated that the project will be commissioned in October 2023. Due to this, the project is facing delay of 42 months with respect to original date of commissioning.
Similarly, Transmission System associated with Alusteng (Srinagar)-Drass-Kargil-Khalsti-Leh Project was approved in January 2014 at a cost of Rs 1788.41 crore but now it is anticipated that the project will be completed at a cost of Rs 2,333.71 crore.
Originally, the project was to be commissioned by September 2017 and then it was anticipated that it will be commissioned in September 2018 but this deadline has also been missed. Due to this, the project is already facing delay of 12 months with respect to the original date of commissioning.
As per the report, the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Line Project of Northern Railways was approved in March 1995 at a cost of Rs 2500 crore but the anticipated cost has been worked out at Rs 27,947 crore. The project was supposed to be completed in all respect by November 2002.
However, this deadline was missed and subsequently new timeline of December 2018 was fixed. But the same is going to be missed as Katra-Banihal Section is yet to be made ready. Due to this, the project is facing inordinate delay.
The four-laning project of Qazigund-Banihal Section of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was approved in July 2010 at a cost of Rs 1987 crore and it was supposed to be completed by July 2015. Now, it is claimed that the project will be completed by March 2019 as such it is facing time overrun of 44 months with regard to original date of commissioning.
Four-laning of Ramban-Banihal and Udhampur-Ramban Sections is also facing delay because of varied reasons. Similarly, no discernible progress has been made on construction of standalone Ring Road around Jammu city.
“The reasons for time overrun as reported by various project implementing agencies are delay in land acquisition; delay in forest clearance; delay in supply of equipments; fund constraints; geological surprises; problems in equipment erection; geo-mining conditions; slow progress in civil works; shortage of labour; inadequate mobilization by the contractor; court cases; contractual issues and ROU/ROW problems”, the report said.
“Majority of these issues fall in the domain of the State Government and had necessary cooperation been extended well in time the projects would not have been facing time overrun”, sources said, adding “even the executing agencies cannot absolve themselves as their slackness and inability to take timely decisions on various aspects have also contributed a lot in time overrun of the projects”.
The executing agencies have even failed to report on the milestones of their respective projects. “The Online Computerized Monitoring System (OCMS) of this Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation envisages monitoring of milestones of the projects. The project authorities have been regularly requested to enter the list of milestones for each project to facilitate better monitoring. However, they have failed on this aspect”, the report said.