Indian Railways has incurred an additional cost of Rs 1.07 lakh crore for not completing over 400 projects in the stipulated time, according to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
The increase in cost for 442 projects is not good news for in the cash-starved public transporter, as Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has in the past equated the world's fourth-largest rail network to a patient in an intensive care unit (ICU).
"Projects were delayed due to delay in preparation/sanction of estimate and delay in acquisition of land. Delay in completion of projects resulted in cost overrun of Rs 1.07 lakh crore and huge throw-forward of Rs 1.86 lakh crore in respect of 442 ongoing projects," said the CAG in its latest report which was tabled in Parliament on Saturday.
The agency in its report said while under-utilisation of funds had led to long delays in the execution of the projects, allotment of funds fell short of the requirements in some cases.
The CAG noted that 202 projects were added to the existing list during 2009-14 without taking into account funding problems. As a result, the Railways was able to complete only 67 projects during that period.
"There was lack of consistency in prioritisation of projects," PTI quoted the CAG as saying in it report.
In August, Prabhu had said the ministry was taking various measures to set things right, but the results would take some time to become evident.
"Because of neglect over several years, railways is suffering," Prabhu had said.
The minister had also said Indian Railways was planning to announce quarterly financial results, similar to listed companies, to enable raising of funds in a big way.