Central projects move at snail’s pace in Odisha
By Bijay Chaki - BHUBANESWAR
Published: 24th Jun 2012 11:35:13 AM
The track record of the Naveen Patnaik government, as far as completion of industrial projects on time is concerned, is far from satisfactory. Big ticket projects in private sector including the 12 million tonne steel plant by South Korean steel giant Posco is hanging fire.
There are at least 27 central sector infrastructure projects which are under different stages of progress in the state. But the average time overrun for these projects is 67.77 months, a whopping five years. A concerned Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation Srikant, who reviewed the progress of the central sector projects has now asked the State Government to set up a central sector project coordination committee,(CSPCC),for speedy completion of the major projects.
The total original cost of these 27 projects is Rs 54,277.41 cr and the anticipated completion cost is Rs 57,448.40 cr, implying a cost overrun of Rs 3,170.99 cr. The Centre has invested Rs 25,778.01 crore in these projects.
The projects include the golden quadrilateral projects in road transport and highways sector, three in the railways, eight in coal and one in the petroleum sector. The delayed projects include two major ongoing projects of Indian Oil Corporation Limited(IOCL).
The Paradip refinery project with a capacity of 15 Million Metric Tonne Per Annum of crude at a sanctioned cost of about Rs 30,000 crore is taking more time due to delay in completion of peripheral projects. The project was conceptualised in 1995 at a cost of Rs 8,000 crore and was approved by the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) in 1998 but due to various reasons, work on the project was stalled in 2004.
The project in the current form was approved in 2009 with scheduled stabilised operation by November 2012. The project is now anticipated to be commissioned by September, 2013, provided the peripheral problems are resolved with the cooperation of the state government.
IOCL is also constructing a 1,065 km Paradip-Raipur-Ranchi pipeline for transporting products from Paradip refinery at a cost of Rs 1,492 crore. The project is facing problems in obtaining forest clearance. As per the Ministry of Environment and Forest guidelines, IOCL cannot even work on the pipeline even in non-forest area until the forest clearance for the entire project is obtained. This has further complicated the problems in Odisha.
While the project has received forest approval for its Chhattisgarh component and Jharkhand has recommended the same to Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), Odisha is yet to send the recommendation. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has requested the MoEF to allow IOCL to construct the pipeline at least in the non-forest area to save time.
Jena also reviewed Haridaspur-Paradip new rail line project being implemented by HPRCL, the special purpose vehicle promoted by the Railway Ministry. The total length of the railway line is 82 kilometers, out of which land has been acquired for about 70 km. The minister has asked the state government officials present at the meeting to expedite land acquisition for the rest.
The projects in the railway sector which have been pushed behind schedule included Rupsa-Bangiriposhi, Haridaspur-Paradip, Khurda Road-Bolangir, Lanjigarh-Junagarh, Talcher-Bimalagarh and Rajatgarh-Barang railway lines.
Stating that timely execution of central sector projects is critical for development of the state, Jena has said it provided employment and income and therefore, it is imperative that necessary action must be taken by the state government to overcome reasons for delay.
According to Industry minister Raghunath Mohanty, that the state government wants rapid industrialisation of the state. He said that all steps are being taken by the state government to resolve the bottlenecks for speedy implementation of the projects.