The Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project is likely to get further delayed with the Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd once again approaching the authorities seeking enhancement of compensation for acquisition of its Vikhroli land for the project.
The government had awarded ₹264 crore in return for acquiring its land for the project. Godrej, one of the country’s oldest business houses, has sought over ₹900 crore.
The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Collector to decide within 30 days the reference application filed by Godrej and Boyce seeking enchantment of compensation which is to be finally decided by Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Authority, Aurangabad.
Justice BP Colabawalla was hearing a petition filed by Godrej seeking that the Collector be directed to decide on its reference application and forward the same to the transferred to the LARR authority, who will finally decide on the compensation enhancement.
“The present petition is being filed to challenge the arbitrary, unreasonable, illegal, capricious and highhanded actions on the part of Respondents in deliberately and in breach of the Hon'ble Supreme Court's order dated 24th February, 2023 failing and neglecting to make a reference for enhancement of compensation awarded..,” the plea says.
On February 9, the HC had dismissed Godrej’s petition challenging the land acquisition but kept its remedy for enhancement of compensation open. On an appeal by Godrej, on February 24, the apex court directed the jurisdictional court to decide on its application for enhancement of compensation within six months.
Collector failed to take action
Accordingly, on February 28, Godrej made an application before the Collector and Deputy Collector of Land Acquisition for enhancement of compensation. The collector failed to take action and make a reference to the LARR Authority.
Hence, Godrej approached the LARR Authority on April 3 with its application for enhancement of compensation. The collector failed to appear or depute anyone due to which the application was dismissed by LARR on June 23.
Godrej approached the HC seeking quashing of the order of the LARR Authority rejecting its application for enhancement.