As many as 343 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 1.5 billion or above, have shown cost overrun of Rs 2.16 trillion owing to delays and other reasons, a report said.
It has also been observed that "project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time/cost overrun figures are underreported", according to the report.
"Total original cost of implementation of the 1,304 projects was Rs 16.21 trillion and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 18.38 trillion, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 2.16 trillion (13.36% of original cost)," The ministry's latest report for February 2018 said.
Of the 1,304 projects, 343 reported cost overrun and 262 times escalation.
According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till February 2018 is Rs 6.36 trillion, which is 34.60 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects.
While 14 projects are ahead of schedule, 307 are on schedule, 262 are delayed, 343 projects are showing cost overrun and 100 projects are showing both time and cost overrun with respect to original implementation schedules, the report said.
However, it said the number of delayed projects decreased to 222 if the delay is calculated with reference to latest revised schedules of completion.
"For 721 projects, where original/anticipated commissioning date has not been reported, all concerned have been requested to provide the original/anticipated commissioning date so that these projects can be monitored for completion vis-a-vis the targeted dates," the report said.
Of the 262 delayed projects, 53 projects have an overall delay in the range of 1 to 12 months, 55 projects (13-24 months), 83 projects (25-60 months) and 71 projects (61 months and above).
The report attributes the time overrun to a host of issues, including delay in land acquisition, forest clearance, supply of equipment, fund constraint, Maoist incursion, legal cases and law and order situation.
The brief reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies are delay in land acquisition, delay in forest clearance, delay in supply of equipment, fund constraints and geological surprises, among others.