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51 Central projects completed in first half

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Nov. 26

THE Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation, Mr Oscar Fernandes, on Thursday announced that in all, a total of 51 Central sector projects costing Rs 23,910 crore were completed in the first half of the current fiscal.

Giving the sector-wise break-up of the 51 completed projects till September this year, mainly in the infrastructure sector, Mr Fernandes told newspersons that 11 pertained to the Railways, nine were in road transport and highways, five in shipping and ports, two in urban development, one in power, three in petroleum, two in steel, one in atomic energy, 11 in coal and two in mines.

These projects are located in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

When in full production or operation, these projects, the Minister said, would add new capacity to the extent of 27.58 million tonnes of coal production annually, 1,000 MW capacity for power generation through Nathpa-Jhakri hydel power project in Himachal Pradesh, 1,150 tonnes additional yearly capacity for production of aluminium with 120 MW captive power and 26,400 tonnes capacity for production of special grade alumina each year, expansion of the Manali refinery capacity to three million tonnes, apart from various works on new rail lines, broad-gauging, line doubling and extension of metro network.

These infrastructure projects, he said, would have a multi-directional effect on the economic development of the country, which include creation of fresh employment and development of the industry, while the rail and road projects would go a long way in improving the carrying capacities by way of freight traffic and movement of passengers.

Mr Fernandes informed that the overall cost overrun in projects was coming down as a result of several measures taken by the Government and constant vigil on projects under implementation. There were about 19 projects, which contribute nearly 90 per cent of the overall cost overrun in all projects.

At present, there are 605 Central projects under implementation with an anticipated cost of Rs 2,67,815 crore. Of the total projects, 22 are proceeding ahead of schedule, 140 are on schedule, 250 behind schedule and 149 projects are yet to be assigned a definite date of commissioning.

An analysis carried out by his Ministry showed that there were a number of factors that contributed to the delays. The problems, Mr Fernandes said, include fund constraints, delays in land acquisition and in awarding contracts, supply of equipment and civil works, legal wrangles such as law and order problems and most importantly, tardy execution.

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