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Greenpeace in soup over Tata project

business Updated: Jul 03, 2007 20:32 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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Greenpeace finds wind blown out of its campaign against Damra port project with North Orissa University accusing the NGO of doctoring its report to suit its agenda.

The NGO, however, term the allegations as baseless and said a university professor SK Dutta had released the report in a media conference with Greenpeace on June 8.

“If the university allowed him to attend the conference how can it retract now? Obviously, it is because of pressure from someone,” said Ashish Fernandes, ocean campaigner of Greenpeace-India.

University’s Vice-chancellor Professor Sudarsan Nanda on Tuesday said no report as placed on the Greenpeace website has been prepared by the university.

The university had prepared the report “Rapid Bio-Diversity Assessment of Dhamra Estuary” and it was submitted to Greenpeace, he said.

On comparison between the report on Greenpeace website and the one prepared by the university, Nanda alleged that the NGO has doctored the authentic report by changing the title and its content for “motives best known to them”. Fernandes termed his statement defamatory.

Tatas plans to build a huge deep sea port at Damra to import and export steel. Greenpeace had termed the project as “ecological blunder” saying it would adversely impact rich biodiversity in the area. The NGO claim was based on the university report citing the impact on endangered olive ridley turtles.

Nanda said that the impact of Dharma Port on the environment and bio-diversity of Dhamra Estuary was not within the scope of the study.

The university also pointed out 16 instances, including portions not in the original report, where the NGO had doctored the report. The Greenpeace quoted the report to say that the port project should be stopped immediately, which Nanda says is not in the university report.

Greenpeace said it would address the issued raised by the university on Thursday.