Indian Railways cost overruns hit this massive number; in short, read all about it
Over three-fifths of the total 349 delayed central projects belong to the railway sector, causing a cost of Rs 1.73 lakh crore, according to a report by the Statistics and Programme Implementation Ministry for October 2017. Ministry monitors centrally funded projects of Rs 150 crore and the above. “The original cost of these 213 railway projects was Rs 123,103.45 crore. The total anticipated cost of the projects has ballooned to Rs 2,96,496.70 crore now due to delays, which show overall cost escalation of 140.85 per cent,” the report stated.
The ministry monitored 350 projects of Indian Railways in October this year.
As many as 36 projects of railways out of the monitored 350 projects reported time overrun or delay of 12 months to 261 months, the report added.
Further, the power sector reported the second highest incidence of overall cost overrun after railways. Of the 126 power projects monitored by the statistics ministry, 43 reported cost overrun of Rs 58,728.23 crore.
Meanwhile in a recent development, Noted architect Hafeez Contractor has offered to design free of charge 19 stations across the country, including several in Mumbai, as part of a redevelopment project being rolled out by the Railways. Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC), the nodal agency for redeveloping 600 railway stations, said Contractor was among four who had offered to design railway stations free of cost. Among the stations Contractor has offered to redesign are Dadar, Parel, Wadala, Bandra and Khar in Mumbai.
"We had an open invitation for professionals to work pro-bono for developing concepts and master plans for redevelopment of stations. Hafeez Contractor has shown an interest in 19 stations," Lohia said.
He said the corporation had received such offers from another noted architect and two firms. "However, we have not finalised any of the designs yet. It is at a preliminary stage," he said.
Contractor, who recently had discussions with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, told PTI that the pro-bono offer was his way of "helping my country". "The very reason that we (he and his firm) are doing it for free is to show them (the government) what can be done," the Padma Bhushan awardee said.
Lohia said the IRSDC has also started the process of empanelling architects who are experienced designers for the transport sector - metro, airports, bus terminals etc -- and have an expert on the railways working with him.
"We need architects as we have to redevelop as many as 600 stations. Designing for railways is different from any other modes of transport. One design error could cost lives. As of now, we have empanelled 11 architects/agencies," Lohia said.
Railway minister Goyal is also slated to hold an architects' meet soon to discuss ways to take the project further. After redevelopment of stations, the railways plans to remain in the business of only running trains, leaving the management of stations to private players.