Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka collectively owe the Indian Railways more than ₹9,000 crore as their cost share for projects executed in these states. Kerala and Tamil Nadu do not have any such arrears, but land acquisition has been slow hurting projects in these states, said officials aware of the matter.
According to officials, railway projects face the most delays in states where political regimes change frequently.
Delays in fund disbursals, land acquisition and approvals hamper execution of projects, they said. «The most disturbance comes when a state government changes the project scope of an ongoing project after polls. State politicians pander to their local supporters without consideration for policy consistency and project timelines,» a senior government official told ET. This, the official said, leads to time and cost overruns. The railways is executing 459 infrastructure projects (new lines, gauge conversion and doubling) spanning over 46,360 kilometres and worth around ₹7.18 lakh crore. While 11,872 kms of rail line had been commissioned till March 2023, work on most of the remaining are in the planning, approval or construction stage. «Giving a confirmed timeframe for completion of all projects is difficult due to the reliance on quick land acquisition and deposition of their share by state governments in cost sharing projects,» the official said. There are also instances of a state government trying to change the scope of a pre-approved project even though there was no regime change, heRead more on economictimes.indiatimes.com