Greenpeace Activists deliver roses to Mr. Ratan Tata on behalf of thousands of people from across the country.
"Much has been said about Mr. Tata's love for animals and the
environment, so we are sure that he will make the right choice, and
put the turtles above increased profits for the TATA group. There
is clear scientific evidence of the threat the port poses;
environmental groups, fishing communities and scientists have
expressed concern and around 90, 000 TATA customers so far have
written to Mr. Tata directly asking him to shift the port and not
the turtles. These roses are a reminder for Mr Tata to honor a
commitment that he had made -- to re-examine the port project in
the likelihood of any damage to the environment" said Areeba Hamid,
oceans campaigner for Greenpeace.
The Greenpeace online campaign for saving the turtles, launched
in April 2008, has met with an overwhelming response. Over the last
week, 7577 people have clicked on the Greenpeace website asking the
group to deliver a rose to Mr. Tata on their behalf, adding to the mounting public
pressure on Mr. Tata to live up to his company's claims of
respect for the environment.
Greenpeace has for several years been campaigning to save the
habitat of the unique and endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles,
whose nesting grounds at Gahirmatha are threatened by the massive
deep water port proposed at Dhamra in Orissa, less than 15 km,
away. The port is being built by Tata Steel in a 50:50 partnership
with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and if constructed, will disturb
the fragile ecological balance, thereby pushing this species one
step closer to extinction.
While Tata Steel's corporate sustainability report boasts that,
"there are no national parks/wild life sanctuaries/CRZ/other
sensitive areas notified areas within 10 kms of any current or
proposed sites..."1, yet the Dhamra port is less than 15 kms away
from the nesting site in the Gahirmatha Sanctuary and barely 5kms
away from Bhitarkanika National Park.
Under India's Wildlife Protection Act, Olive Ridley Turtles
enjoy the same level of protection as the tiger. There is evidence
that the port in its current location poses a significant threat
not only to the turtles, but also to the other rare biodiversity
that is found in the region.
Tata Steel is today the sixth largest steel producer in the
world and the most global brand that India has produced, and the
public now, along with Greenpeace is calling on the TATAs to live
up to it's professed environmental ethics, , by reconsidering its
port at Dhamra and exploring alternatives.
For further information, contact
Areeba Hamid, Oceans Campaigner- +919900569456,
Saumya Tripathy, Greenpeace Communications, 93438 62212,