“Letter to the Tehelka Magazine “

This refers to your article on Dhamra Port and Olive Ridley turtles in the 29th July issue written by Prerna Singh Bindra. I was present in the press conference she has referred to. She has misquoted the CEO(DPCL) and quoted him out of context which is very unfortunate and does not speak of honest reporting. She starts her article by quoting the CEO as saying that if you ask the turtles they would want the port too. First of all, this refers not to any thing said in the press conference but to an informal conversation the CEO was having with a participant which she seems to have over heard. The participant said that nobody is asking the turtles what they really want. The CEO said that may be if you ask them they would say that they do not mind a port. He went on to explain that ports and turtles co-exist in many parts of the world.

Her comments against IUCN are also most unfortunate and in poor taste.

Best Regards,

Amlan Dutta

THE REPLY

I understand this letter was sent to Tehelka by Amlan Datta.
Nothing, has been misquoted, nothing is out of context. The CEO has not been misqouted.
The CEO repeated this twice-once in what Mr Datta cites as ‘informal conversationm’ with ‘X’ participant. I was talking to him, in the presence of a very senior editor, at the press conference about the issue-and this was something he told me, not something I overheard in conversation with Mr X. And his exact qoute was ” If you ask the turltles, they would want the port too.”

Incidentally, it may be mentioned that Amlan Dutta works for Dhamra Port, which he has omitted to mention, or rather just said that he ‘was present’ at the conference’, not in what capacity.

Perhaps I should also mention that the CEO and Mr Dutta asked me not to ‘write a damaging story’

prerna singh bindra

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Dear Prerna,

I have been a member of Nat hist for last 9 years (since my university days) and all these years all my postings have been in my personal capacity, i dont get paid to write in Nat hist, and in fact in the original letter to Tehelka, i have mentioned my official designation (Env Manager- Dhamra port), but in nat hist i dont, never have,, even while i was working for my previous organizations. And does it matter which capacity i am speaking in,, what matters is the truth, and i am sure you will agree on that…

I remember the conversation the CEO (DPCL)was having with the Sr. Editor (X) and you, while i was standing in the sidelines,,, and he indeed did say that but in what context,, if i remember correctly you exclaimed loudly when he said this perhaps without realizing the context he was saying it in… , and yes i was indeed there at the press conference as a Dhamra port employee, what is there to hide in it..

And when did i tell you not to write a damaging story,… i dont know if the CEO would have told you this, and i very much doubt it.. but then you have anyway written a damaging story, in fact what i remember clearly was the CEO and me asking you to come to dhamra and see for your self about which you were very evasive.

And you know what ,, all this opposition and strong views against the port just make me all the more determined to work for the port, in whichever capacity i can , because I believe in what i am doing and what is true and what is right,, and the truth is out there at the port site, come and see it for yourself.

Regards,
Amlan

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The REPLY

Amlan,

I don’t EVER misquote people.

He told me word for word, what i wrote.

So please don’t say in this context blah blah–he said it, not once, but twice-though why i am wasting my breath explaining to you, i do not know.

I know what the CEO told me. You can clarify with him if you want, though, of course i am not answerable for what he says.

The CEO also told me “not to write a damaging story- in lieu of old connections” Ask him.

You, search your memory.

And he said plenty that i did not write-inclduing telling me that “this was a dhandha of NGOs and people like you”— i reminded him i am not an NGO..

i think it was/is beneath my dignity to write this…

Damaging story? If a reflection of the truth is damaging, so be it. i am just one who writes.

As for coming to Dhamra Port –being evasive? i have been to the region twice. but the port area itself? maybe i will-but noone dictates what i write… i will listen, see, talk, meet.-everyone concerned. And then, write what i believe is right, what needs to be written, and said.

If that’s ok-then you are on. I will visit Dhamra.

regards,

prerna