New Delhi: As many as 826 housing projects are running behind schedule by an average of 39 months, with Punjab having the maximum delayed projects followed by Telangana and West Bengal, an Assocham study has found.

"At the end of December 2016, 3,511 projects were live in construction and real estate sector, of which 2,304 were under the implementation stage. Of the projects under implementation, 886 construction and real estate projects have recorded significant delays," the study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said.

"Importantly, out of 886 delayed projects, 826 delayed projects are for housing construction and 60 for the commercial complex," it said.

On an average, construction and real estate projects have been delayed by 39 months, the study said.

Hopefully, with steps like banks being allowed by the Reserve Bank of India to invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), the sector should see revival of investment, enabling it to cut delays and restore consumer confidence," Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat said.

Among the major states, Punjab has recorded the maximum delay of 48 months in construction and real estate projects followed by Telangana (45 months), West Bengal (44 months), Odisha (44 months) and Haryana (44 months), the study noted.

"Similarly, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have recorded 42 months of delay. Maharashtra saw delay of 39 months," it said.

"Karnataka has recorded lowest delay of 31 months. Similarly, Rajasthan and Kerala have recorded delay almost equal to Karnataka followed by Gujarat and Tamil Nadu," it added.

Assocham said that the process of obtaining mandatory approvals from multiple regulators and authorities result in cost and time overruns, which not only discourage investments in the housing sector but also lead to delays and corruption.

"As an effective solution, Centre and state governments must introduce a single-window system for clearance of all real estate projects," it said.

The chamber said the government should act as a facilitator rather than a regulator of the real estate projects, particularly where demand is more than supply. State governments should complete updation of their land records, making them computerised and online.

"In coordination with the state and local authorities, basic infrastructure like transport, water, power, housing, healthcare and sanitation must be taken up in well before completion of the projects," it said.