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Greenpeace asks Tatas to drop Orissa port plans

Terming Tata Steel's move to set up a port at Dhamra in Orissa as an "ecological blunder", Greenpeace said the steel giant should not have port in the area.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2007 18:37 IST

Terming Tata Steel's move to set up a port at Dhamra in Orissa as an "ecological blunder" in its recent study, Greenpeace on Friday said the steel giant should not have a port in the area as it was detrimental to the rich biodiversity found there.

The study, carried out by North Orissa University team led by SK Dutta, found evidence of the presence of Olive Ridley turtles as well as other rare species in and around the Dhamra port site.

The area also forms the breeding and feeding ground of turtles, contrary to the claims that it was a no-turtle zone, Ashish Fernandes, Ocean campaigner of Greenpeace told reporters.

Fernandes said the rapid Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) of Dhamra, which was carried out by Dutta and his colleagues in 42 days and was submitted to the Tatas three weeks back, was important not just for environment but for the rich biodiversity intrinsic to the site.

The area is important for horshoe crabs. "We have also recorded the crab-eating crab for the first time from the mainland
in India and the white bellied mangrove snakes," he said.

"This is a real test of the Tatas' claim to be environmentally responsible. Ratan Tata has promised to address environmental concerns of Dhamra in the best possible manner and the submitted report to Tatas is fully scientific," Greenpeace activists said.

First Published: Jun 08, 2007 17:23 IST