Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Turtles invade Taj Land's End, seek new home

Turtles invade Taj Land's End, seek new home


Mumbai, June 26, 2007: Under threat of displacement by Tata's mega port at Dhamra in Orissa, four 'Olive Ridley Sea Turtles' sought refuge in the swimming pool of the Taj Land's End Hotel (a Tata concern) at Bandra. Tongue in cheek, the turtles opened a banner that read 'Tata, No Room for Turtles?' a pun on the hotel's slogan 'No Room for the Ordinary'.

"The Tatas' port at Dhamra in Orissa is going to jeopardize our mating and feeding grounds. Ratan Tata is callously ignoring our pleas to save us, and so we have now been forced to come to the Taj in search of an alternative home", said Turtle Spokesperson Jitesh Mohanan. "On June 19th, 2007, we approached approached Tata AIG Life Insurance for insurance cover since the Tatas were destroying our homes and lives. Since the Tatas refused to grant us insurance, we have now been forced to invade the Taj, in the quest for a new habitat" he added.

Tata Steel's proposed port is less than 15 km. from the world's largest mass nesting site at Gahirmatha, where up to 500,000 turtles have been known to nest in a single year. Tata's has always maintained that turtles are not found near the port site, and if evidence of their presence was recorded, they would reconsider the port. In March 2007, a study conducted by renowned herpetologist and member of the IUCN's Amphibian Specialist Group Dr. S.K. Dutta unequivocally established the presence of turtles in the offshore waters near the port. (1) The study also recorded other rare species on the port site itself, which have been ignored in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) done for the project. (2)

Greenpeace has been in touch with the Tatas since May 2007, on this issue, but the points raised by the study have yet to be addressed. Tata Steel has continued to claim publicly that the port will not impact turtles, though they have not been able to provide any evidence for this statement. Further, the company has chosen to ignore specific scientific concerns raised by Greenpeace, through the Critique of the Dhamra EIA report as well as the findings of the biodiversity assessment which Greenpeace had commissioned.

"The TATAs are jeopardizing their reputation for integrity by refusing to address this issue ina direct and straightforward manner. Greenpeace is calling on Ratan Tata to walk the talk and act with the integrity that JRD Tata and the other legends of the family would be proud of. If the Tatas truly value our country's environment, they must pull out of the Dhamra port project", said Ashish Fernandes, Oceans Campaigner with Greenpeace India.

For more information contact:

Ashish Fernandes, Oceans Campaigner +91 99801 99380,

ashish.fernandes@in.greenpeace.org

Saumya Tripathy, Greenpeace Communications +91 93438 62212 saumya.tripathi@in.greenpeace.org


(1) The biodiversity assessment conducted by Dr. S.K. Dutta recorded the presence of over 2,000 turtle carcasses on the port site, probably victims on mechanized fishing in the waters off the port site. Other significant findings include a large population of horseshoe crabs and rare frog and snake species that are the the first confirmed records from mainland India. The complete report is available at www.greenpeace.org/india/press/reports

(2) The Dhamra Port EIA has been scientifically critiqued by Greenpeace scientists from the School of Biosciences, Exeter University and has been found to be fundamentally flawed. This critique is available at www.greenpeace.org/india/press/reports

4 comments:

Aarti Sahoo said...

It was really disturbing to know that Greenpeace has indulged in manipulating an academic report. This is really something unbecoming of Greenpeace. Apparently even the title of the project was changed to suit your purpose, what do you have to say about that? Leave apart the fact that new chapters were added to set the tone of the report . As a resident of Bhadrak, we surely welcome this project which will beget development and wellbeing to our state in general and our town in particular. I think we can do without publicity with a malicious intent. Please remember that this is not a captive port like the POSCO or others, but will eventually be a Port of our state,, I believe the greatest dangers are from the fishermen not using TEDs , i think your focus should be redirected towards addressing the dangers from them.

Yours Sincerely,


Aarti Sahoo
Bhadrak
Orissa

here are a few links..
http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=168844

http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=380211&sid=REG

Aarti Sahoo said...

It was really disturbing to know that Greenpeace has indulged in manipulating an academic report. This is really something unbecoming of Greenpeace. Apparently even the title of the project was changed to suit your purpose, what do you have to say about that? Leave apart the fact that new chapters were added to set the tone of the report . As a resident of Bhadrak, we surely welcome this project which will beget development and wellbeing to our state in general and our town in particular. I think we can do without publicity with a malicious intent. Please remember that this is not a captive port like the POSCO or others, but will eventually be a Port of our state,, I believe the greatest dangers are from the fishermen not using TEDs , i think your focus should be redirected towards addressing the dangers from them.

Yours Sincerely,


Aarti Sahoo
Bhadrak
Orissa

here are a few links..
http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=168844

http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=380211&sid=REG

Anonymous said...

Some more links to the Greenpeace criminal act.. !!!

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEQ20070701180033&Page=Q&Title=ORISSA&Topic=0
http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=9&theme=&usrsess=1&id=161365

karunakar jena said...

We must welcome this project here in Dhamra, bhadrak to develop this poor land and people to a better future tomorrow. The report given by Greenpeace is truly distrubing and it should be re-examined not blocking a genuine development for this city and state. As a resident of this district we really proud for this rare "Olive Ridley Turtles" to have in our land, and we better know to protect but not to destroy these rare species.

With regards,

Karunakar Jena
New Delhi