Infrastructure development is one of the core elements in India’s growth story and the union government’s ‘Achhe Din’ vision. In the last two decades, India has pumped billions into mega projects in the country in aviation, industrial development, smart cities, railways, roads and energy. However, the scale of these projects also means that some of them are running behind schedule by years while also seeing massive cost overruns.
As the Budget approaches, we look at some of the major infrastructure projects that are running behind schedule:
Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor: The $100 billion project was aimed at creating a trade corridor between Delhi and Mumbai running through Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The project was introduced in 2006 when India and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding. The final concept was presented to prime ministers of both India and Japan the subsequent year in August.
According to initial phasing plans in the concept note, physical completion of the DMIC was expected to be completed in three phases over nine years starting from January 2008. Phase 1 was expected to be completed by 2012 and subsequent phases by maximum December 2016. However, the project is running behind schedule. The dedicated freight corridor costing Rs 46,178 crore is also still under construction while it was given a revised deadline of 2017. Several projects like power plants have been rolled back and land acquisition and other hurdles have blocked the project’s development as planned. The DMIC chairman said in an interview to a tv channel recently that the first phase of the project will be completed only by 2019.
Navi Mumbai International Airport: NMIA is being constructed as one of the biggest greenfield airports in the world. After all the clearances were taken, it was expected to start operations by 2019 and reach its maximum capacity of 60 million passengers a year by 2030. However, the Rs 16,000 crore project, which has been in the planning stages for at least two decades, has had delayed clearances from a host of ministries and government agencies along with land acquisition issues. All this meant that the pre development work could only start in April 2017. The further renewed timeline suggests the airport may become operational by 2020.
Nariyara coal-based power plant project: The mega energy project, with a planned capacity to produce 3,600 MW of power, was introduced in 2010 and given a revised deadline of 2018. The cost of the project is Rs 22,874.48 crore. The government also pushed the commissioning date of its units 3 and 4 back to 2018-20 and marked the units 5 and 6 as uncertain. Piramal Enterprises and Bain Capital Credit said in May last year that they would be open to acquiring the KSK Mahanadi Power Project via distressed asset investment platform.
Polavaram irrigation project: The project located along west Godavari was cleared in 2004 and is still under construction. According to the government, “As of March 2017, the project was delayed due to land acquisition issues and revised project completion date was 31-Dec-2019. The cost of the project was increased due to following reasons: 1) Change in DSR (District Schedule of Rate) and RSR (Regional Schedule of Rate) & Change in design.” The project costing Rs 20,000 crore aims to create an irrigation network over 720,000 acres of land.
Delhi Jaipur Expressway: The deadline of the 225-km expressway, expected to cut travel time between Delhi and Jaipur to only two hours, has been advanced to 2019 from 2017 owing to land acquisition hurdles in Rajasthan. The government has put great focus on expressway project and the Delhi-Jaipur Express costing Rs 18,000 was one of the highlight features on the list. The project proposed in 2013 during the UPA regime gained speed in 2016 but hurdles land acquisition hurdles mean the project stands stalled.