Friday, February 13, 2009

Ratan says Tata to Dhamra: Yes, he can!

The Olive Ridley Turtle lovers can heave a sigh of relief. Mr. Ratan Tata has agreed to discuss the matter and reconsider the Company's decision to construct a port at Dhamra, Orissa. Here are my congratulations to Greenpeace, for the perseverance and commitment to fight for the survival of an endangered species - the Olive Ridley Turtles. Wishing you success in this endeavour. Amen!


Thanatos said...

Man, in this economic crisis we need more jobs, not turtles. Unless they taste good :D

Sudhir Pai said...

ha ha ha!

well, lets say the economic crisis is a short-term loss! And a compromise on ecological balance seems like a option in the better interests of "mankind". Well, I think this country needs to preserve its natural resource just like some countries in the west do. If employment is the primary reason to overlook the survival of an endangered species, why can't we create jobs in the tourism sector?

Hrishika said...

Pai.. while I am 100% with you on this, I just want to continue the conversation for the sake of debate.

How many jobs would be generated via vis-a-via say, a large steel plant in Orissa. That too in a country, where bomb scares every week is not very suprising news.

I'm just thinking... How would I sell this idea to critics with hard facts?

Sudhir Pai said...

Alright, here is what we lack as a developing country - "Urban Development". Lets us take UK for instance. There are areas that are allocated for the green belt. This initiative is taken for in the interest of maintaining the ecological balance. Now we have already done enough damage as a country to our own natural resources. And given the population that we support, there has been an unwarranted destruction of nature. Unless we set a precedent here with let's say the natural habitat of olive ridley, we'll continue doing what we have for the sake of "greater interests". I'm supremely confident that the ecological balance of the country will be a parameter that will be taken into consideration the next time a Tata or an L&T undertake a project of this magnitude if we succeed in this battle of ideologies. Let me reiterate, I'm not turning a blind eye to the no. of jobs that a project of this nature can create. My concern arose when I saw that Tata's were very nonchalant about the consequences. We, as a country, have to learn not to take our natural resources for granted.

Anonymous said...

The World is changing and I think our approach has to change. We have to get into the habit of accepting the facts like unemployment,poverty and development with environmental protection.We cant just keep talking about environment alone and if we have to take the example of developed countries lets compare the size of the population and the number of people who live below the poverty line.Its easy for us to sit in the comforts of our homes and talk about these people,but its very difficult to live their life for 24hours.

Sudhir Pai said...


would've appreciated you leaving a name, but since you haven't, I'll just call you anon.

Firstly, your comment:

The World is changing and I think our approach has to change. We have to get into the habit of accepting the facts like unemployment,poverty and development with environmental protection.

I wont dispute you on this. I completely agree with you. My concern here is this, not enough is being done for "development with environmental protection" as you've stated in your comment. It is for this that all of us at greenpeace are placing a demand. And we find that corporates turn a blind eye to their own responsibility to nature. Each of us have a responsibility towards nature, and we volunteers at greenpeace are only doing ours.

Now for the last part of your comment:
It's easy for us to sit in the comforts of our homes and talk about these people,but its very difficult to live their life for 24hours.

I certainly do not know what you are doing about it, and you surely have no clue what I'm doing about it. So this part of your comment is, to me, no more than a baseless accusation. And futile arguments like this does not stop us from what we're trying to achieve. I reiterate, we at greenpeace understand our responsibility towards nature, and in our endeavour to remind corporates of "their" own responsibility, we will leave no stone unturned. By no means do we overlook the contributions of great industrialists like Ratan Tata. As an Indian, I'd talk of him with great pride. And we are supremely confident that a man of his stature will certainly look at a cause that transcends greatness beyond geographies, by fulfilling his responsibility to nature.

I appreciate you leaving a comment. The next time, I suggest you leave a name too.

kishan said...

I hope that everyone is aware that the Turtles have nested and it seems like the port construction has been a problem for some.

"But those some sure aren't Turtles"

Anonymous said...

I wonder who is benefitting from all this. Niether the Oliver Ridleys nor the people of Orissa.

Anonymous said...

Here's a news article about the mass turtles nesting in Gahirmatha Beach during 21-24 March 2009

kishan said...

I wanted to share some pictures sent to me by some of my friends.

These are current nesting pictures.

Anonymous said...

Thanatos dont let the greenpeace know about your intentions. ahahaha

Anonymous said...

Greenpeace thinks they are like James Bond with a License to Protest unreasonably.

Anonymous said...

Greenpeace also has to realize that the major stakeholders are the people of Orrisa who would benefit from development in their state and this is an overall sensitive issue.

Snehlata said...

Just saw a you tube video – Voices of Local peopleWas wondering can't we have both – Olive Ridley turtles as well Dhamra port project for the development of local people.
Have a look at the place Dhamra? The local people need better livelihood oppurtunity to survive and Dhamra Port project can provide it. The youth need not need to move to other state to earn their daily bread.

Tata has been serving our country India for such a long time & am sure they will adopt necessary environmental measure for conservation of these endangered species as well.

Rashi said...

According to Greenpeace, Dhamra port project will directly affect the Olive Ridley turtles, their mating, nesting etc. however found this video worth sharing.

Greenpeace Lie - Olive Ridley Nesting Video at Gahirmatha Beach

Even after huge Greenpeace propaganda, turtles came back for nesting at Gahirmatha beach, which is located near Dhamra port project.

Like to share few more stories:

-- > Olive Ridley Turtles Begin Early Nesting in Orissa
-- > Olive Ridley turtles hatchlings emerge from sandy pits

I think Greenpeace problem lies here: "After all, Tata has grown from a national giant into an international player"

Jessica said...

Have a look at

Its says:

"It may be noted that IUCN and the MTSG (Marine Turtle Scientific Group) scientists working with the group have clearly stated that dredging operations for Dhamra does not and will not affect the Olive Ridley Turtles in Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and its periphery area. For more details log on to -"

Aakansha said...

Check this press release which is worth reading.
"Press Release from North orissa University

It has come to our notice that Greenpeace India have placed in their website a report under the title "Bio-diversity Assessment of Dhamra Port Site and Surroundings Areas, Orissa". The cover page of the report says that the report has been prepared by the North Orissa University. We would like to clarify that no report under the above mentioned title has been prepared by the North Orissa Unversity.

North Orissa University had prepared a report under the title "Rapid Bo-diversity Assessment of Dhamra Estuary, Orissa-India" and the same was submitted to Greenpeace India who were the funding agency.

A comparison of the report as it appears in the website of Greenpeace India and the authentic report of North Orissa University reveals that the Greenpeace India have doctored the authentic report by way of changing the title and its contents for motives best known to them.

We wish to further clarify that the impact of Dhamra Port on the environment and bio-diversity of Dhamra Estuary was not within the scope of our study.

For the sake of convenience we are enclosing herewith a copy of the authentic report of the University and the report as placed by the Greenpeace India in their website along with a comparison in a tabular form which would clearly indicate the changes/deletions/additions and interpolations made by Greenpeace India.

To conclude we take serious exception to such unethical conduct by Greenpeace India.

Prof. Sudarsan Nanda,
Vice Chancellor,
North Orissa University"

Meghna said...

Greenpeace to see exclusive olive ridley turtles video shared by DPCL:

Hatched Sea Turtles approaching towards sea water at Gahirmatha

Tina said...

Know more about Dhamra Port Project

Jessica said...

“Greenpeace has been variously criticized for being too radical, too alarmist, or too mainstream, for using methods bordering on eco-terrorism, for having itself caused environmental damage in its activities, for taking positions which are not environmentally or economically sound, and for valuing non-human causes over human causes. These criticisms have been made by governments, industrial and political lobbyists and other environmental groups.”

Greenpeace Lies About Apple

Greenpeace Lies About Dhamra Port

Is that like Greenpeace always targets big corporate giant to keep them under pressure and earn money from them ultimately?

I wonder why a non-governmental organization for the protection and conservation of the environment do not like to protect the human beings. I have found in few countries innocent & poor people require protections, importance more than animals.

Why they have been kept ignored and leave behind by this type of so called good organizations.


Tina said...

"It is sad that we first decide a villain and then find the proof to crucify them, when our concern could be about the turtles and people of Orissa and finding out ways so that both prosper." - Cyber activist blogger's viewpoint on Greenpeace and the turtles

RMegha said...

Dhamra Port Project is not only concern about the Orissa's economy or the society’s betterment but they are also concern about the environmental protection. A very nice video which you will definitely like to share with others

Aakash said...

Light and lighting are crucial for any industrial project, both during construction and the operational phase. IUCN lighting experts and DPCL are also taking care of implementing lighting safeguards, which would also be turtle safe lighting and would be low pressure sodium vapor lights which have been proven by research to be the least disorienting to turtle hatchlings.


Jessica said...

"Expressing anguish over the Green Peace movement's single point agenda on stopping work on Dhamra Port project in Orissa, Tata Steel Chairman Ratan Tata reiterated that the company would in no way take up any project hazardous to Olive Ridley Turtles"

Mr Ratan Tata Chairman of TATA Steel to Greenpeace activists: "I invite you for a discussion and a visit to the port site in Dhamra."

Tata proved that Tata was always willing to have a best solution for country's industrial & economical development and they were always ready for solutions.

Tina said...

Greenpeace, the professed global environment campaign organization, in an instance of unmatched brazenness, falsified the report prepared by North Orissa University on Biodiversity Assessment of Dhamra Estuary. As a result, a group of forty MPs wrote to the Ministry Of Environment and Forests to call on the bluff of Greenpeace. The Orissa Govt. therefore initiated action against Greenpeace proposing a ban on all its activities in the state.

However, after the 102nd Annual General Meeting of Tata Steel in Mumbai, Greenpeace unabashedly has started their tricks once again. This time it has managed to rope in Retd Admiral Ramdas and his wife Mrs. Lalita Ramdas on the issue of Dhamra port but as far as scientific reasoning goes, the issues raised are totally unfounded. We can just hope that the visit of the Ramdas’ to the site will help to stop meaningless agitations and clear the situation once and for all.

Meghna said...

Tata Steel has always maintained a strong focus on environment sustainability and environment management in all its operations. We have seen that in the issues regarding the construction of a deep-sea port at Dhamra in Orissa, the Company has been forthcoming in sharing the concerns of activists and ever willing to implement practical means of mitigating any adverse impact of port construction on the marine eco-system in that area. The Company has held at least eight to nine sessions of meetings with Greenpeace and other environmental organizations in the matter of Dhamra Port. Tata Steel has made it abundantly clear that it is willing to have further discussions in order to alleviate any unnecessary doubts that the dissenters may yet nurture against the project.

Here is an outline of events as they happened till date.

The JV agreement with L&T to build a port at Dhamra was signed by Tata Steel in 2004. At the very onset, discussions were initiated with WWF- India, BNHS, Mr Kartik Shankar, Mr Bittu Sehagal and others.

The company was duly concerned with the objections raised by different environmental organizations and agreed not to begin construction work till a detailed study was complete. Responding wholeheartedly to the demands of activists, Tata Steel agreed for a proposal for a further study of the impact of the port on turtles and on the marine and island eco-system.

In 2005, BNHS and WWF-India, with an unprecedented suddenness, reversed their stand and refused to conduct the assessment study as they had promised. However, the organisations did not provide any reasons for their turncoat attitude.

In March 06, in an address to ED, Greenpeace India, the Chairman of TATA Sons made it clear that commitments were meant to be honoured at both ends. The Company had fulfilled their promise by withholding construction work for the proposed study, which never actually took off. The MD of Tata Steel also met Greenpeace officials in their Bangalore office.

In January 2008 a meeting was subsequently conducted between Greenpeace and Tata Steel and a list of concerns was presented by Greenpeace with regard to Dhamra Port. DPCL on 8th March 2008, gave a detailed and comprehensive explanation to all the points raised by Greenpeace. Subsequent objections were allayed on 3rd May 2008.

Further on 23rd October 2008, MD, Tata Steel along with senior executives of Tata Steel, L&T and DPCL met Greenpeace, BNHS, WPSI, Wild Society of Orissa, Sanctuary Asia and other environmental organizations to discuss the concerns and the way forward on the subject with regard to Dhamra Port.

A team of Company Executives and environment experts visited Bhitarakanika National Park, Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and the Dhamra Port site on February 2009, supervising the ongoing dredging operations.

Meghna said...

On fourth meeting on 20th Feb 2009 in Kolkata, Tata Steel, L&T and DPCL agreed to conduct the additional biological impact assessment in close collaboration with NGOs’ of environmental organizations team led by a mutually agreed upon Scientists team. However the NGOs’ in a further instance of unreasonableness, insisted upon complete cessation of on-going dredging operation of Dhamra Port even before the commencement of study. However DPCL, Tata Steel and L&T team showed it preparedness to adjust the schedule of works including dredging to facilitate the study after due recommendation by the Scientists team.

The 102nd AGM of Tata Steel had been attended by a number of Greenpeace activists who happen to be shareholders of the Company as well. The AGM highlighted Tata Steel’s interests in further conference with Greenpeace in the matter of the port in addition to an invitation to activists to visit the port site yet again.

From the sequence of events, it is absolutely clear that the only thing that Greenpeace wants is to prolong the situation of deadlock in the matter of Dhamra Port. Perhaps, due to a lack of other valid issues on their agenda, Greenpeace is carrying on with a stance of stiffness, lest they have to give in to valid scientific reasoning. The only deduction that may be drawn from Greenpeace’s lack of willingness in discussion is that they have lost their own conviction long before and fear that they will have to admit it as such in an open forum. It is indeed a very sorry state of affairs in which progress is kept at stake and the environment is being used as a pawn by people who profess themselves to be friends of the environment.

Aakansha said...

Some shareholders of Tata Steel brought up the concerns raised by Greenpeace about the impact of the Dhamra Port on the nesting habitat of Olive Ridley Turtles at Tata Steel’s 102nd AGM in Mumbai on the 27th August’09 and requested the Chairman of Tata Steel, Mr Ratan Tata, to discuss the Dhamra Port issue with them.

Mr Tata responded immediately to their concerns and said that my invitation is “ to you Admiral Ramdas” and anybody else who would be interested and Mr Muthuraman would make the arrangements for you all to take the time to satisfy yourselves in terms of what we are doing.
Know more: Response to GPs activity on Websites

Anonymous said...

In the blog post it is clearly mentioned that -

In order to facilitate the movement of large size vessels, a deep-sea port was proposed on the north of the mouth of river
Dhamra, on the eastern coast of India….

Unfortunately, ever since its inception, certain groups and individuals, mostly campaigners like Greenpeace have expressed
unfounded and biased apprehensions to malign the project as an environmental threat….

This video clearly narrates the
misconceptions that have been spread, and the actual facts to counter them…..