In case Godrej does not agree to the acquisition, the authorities will have to either change the track alignment or forcibly acquire the land under the provisions of the Maharashtra Land Acquisition Act, 2013
Godrej Group has moved Bombay High Court against the acquisition of its prime property worth $5 billion in the Vikhroli area of Mumbai for the government's ambitious bullet train project connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad, Business Standard reported.
The conglomerate is reportedly seeking a change in the project's alignment so that it can get nearly 3.5 hectares or 8.6 acres of land belonging to its infrastructure arm Godrej Construction out of the project's road map.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
According to the current alignment, of the total 508.17 km of rail track between Mumbai and Ahemdabad, about 21 km is planned to be underground.
According to the route map, one of the entry points to the underground tunnel falls on the land belonging to Godrej Construction, which is a strategic business unit of group company Godrej & Boyce.
Over 50 percent of the underground tunnel will be passing through the green belt, including Thane creek, under the seabed, and marshland areas with mangroves.
Industry sources told the paper that land prices in Vikhroli are currently between Rs 55 crore and Rs 65 crore per acre.
"In acquisition of agricultural land, the compensation goes up to five times the value of the land. In corporate-owned land, compensation structures are different. We have to study the zone the land falls under. Godrej owns different types of land. We have to study whether it is a no-development zone, salt pan land or mangroves," Gulam Zia, Executive Director at property consultant Knight Frank told the paper.
In case Godrej does not agree to the acquisition, the authorities will have to either change the track alignment or forcibly acquire the land under the provisions of the Maharashtra Land Acquisition Act, 2013.
The project has been facing opposition from over 7,000 farmers across Maharashtra and Gujarat. The dissent is because of the possibility of them losing their land for the bullet train to be successfully commissioned.
In several villages, locals have not allowed teams to to enter their land for survey. Farmer unions' leaders are demanding that the acquisition should take place under the Central law and not the state's law.
The Gujarat Khedut Samaj has also alleged that the guidelines laid down by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for land acquisition are being flouted by officials engaged in the process.
Activists opposing the process had written to JICA intimating it about the manner in which its guidelines were allegedly being flouted in the acquisition process.The foundation stone for this project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in September last year.