Did Mr. Dilu Panda overstate his case? 


Exchange between me and Mr. Dilu Panda during Sept 14 2006-Sept 17 2006

(posted on Oct 22 2006) 

Context:

1. Orissa mining

2. Open letter to the Tatas

3. Mr. Dilu Panda's rejoinder

Mr. Dilu Panda seems to have overstated his  case. He was asked in the forum Agami Orissa to substantiate his claims; so far he has not substantiated most of his claims. Nevertheless he did point out somethings that was missed in the open letter. Following is a short summary of my exchange with him, some of it through the Agami Orissa yahoo group.

After his initial mail I tried to find out more on his claims. From the Internet I could come up with the link http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/apr05/supp2.php
which among other things mentions that

"It has also contributed substantially for improving the quality of life by investing in Pathani Samanta Planetorium, XIMB, Village Electrification in Sukinda area, Ravenshaw college development trust and many others."

However Mr. Panada has not yet provided documents that answer the following question I asked: Could you please provide links that substantiate the following statements you made and also please clarify them.

  • XIMB (50% cost) -- What was the amount Tata's contributed?
  • Pathani Samanta Planetorium (80% cost) -- What was the amount Tata's contributed? 
  • Upcoming stadium at Keonjhar -- What is the amount Tatas are contributing?
  • Stadium at Patnagarh -- What was the amount Tata's contributed?
  • Can you elaborate on your comment below when you say:"This is already happening"
        Tata's have contributed 5 crores for the inst of Math and applications. I had already mentioned that. Are you saying that they have plans to contribute more to make it  a full-fledged IISc type institute? Please substantiate any moves they have made in regards to that and any amount they have pledged for that.

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Mr.Panda's answer to my queries were of the following kind:

WITH REGARD TO PATHANI SAMANTA PLANETORIUM, XIMB IT IS MENTIONED IN A PUBLICATION TITLED ORISSA AND TATA STEEL, WHICH I READ WITH ONE OF THE PRESS PERSON IN CUTTACK. PLUS I CHECKED UP WITH ONE MY DISTANT RELATIVE WHO HAS PASED OUT FROM XIMB

 
AS I BELONG TO CHANDIKHOL, I KNOW TATAS DO A LOT OF WORK AT THE MICRO VILLAGE LEVEL, WHICH BENEFITS THE REAL POOR VILLAGERS LIKE THE FOLLWING ONES
 
- ELECTRIFICATION OF 15 VILLAGES IN KALIPANI / SUKINDA REGION
 
- DRINKING WATER FOR 30 VILLAGES IN INETRIOR TRIBAL VILLAGES
 
- OPERATION MUSKAN - TO TAKE CARE OF CLEFT LIP CASES OF POOR VILLAGERS IN THE INTERIROS OF ORISSA
 
- CONTRIBUTED FOR NABAKRUSHNA CHOUDHRY CENTRE FOR DEVELOPMETAL STUDIES AT BHUBANESWAR
 
- LARGE SCALE DIGGING OF TUBE WELL IN GANJAM, CUTTACK, JAJPUR, KEONJHAR AT LEAST 1000 NOS IN LAST 6-7 YEARS IN THE INTERIOR VILLAGES
 
- TATA RELIEF HAVE JUST DISTRIBUTED RELIEF AMONG 2500 FAMILIES IN KENDRAPADA DISTRICT, I UNDERATND WHICH IS WORTH MORE THAN RS 40 LAKHS
 

and the list goes on.

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I followed up with:

Dear Mr. Panda:

If you would check my original mail, almost everything I said I had given a link to a website that backed up the information. That is because often what we hear
from conversation is a bit exaggerated. However, I am grateful that you pointed to certain contributions of Tatas which I had not come across earlier, and I would like to
document that.

But please let us try to get proper substantiation of any claims.

For example, on your claim about XIMB I checked with a professor of XIMB and he said that as far as he knows after 6-7 years of establishment of XIMB one of the women's hostel at XIMB was made through contribution of the
TATA's and is named Russi Modi hostel.  I am sure you would agree that that will not come to 50% of XIMB as you had claimed. 

Similarly, on the Inst of Mathematics thing, I had pointed to the website where it is mentioned that Tata's gave 5 crore and that site also mentions Karan Grover
[15] http://www.tata.com/tata_steel/media/20051227.htm
Can you point me to any exact website where the10 crore you claim is mentioned? Also, making it a full-fledged Inst of Science requires 500 crores at least. (That is what the budget is for the IIISERs in Pune and Kolkata.) That is what I was asking.

Again, I am thankful to you for pointing Tata's contribution to XIMB and some of the other ones that I did not know about.

---

My goal is to not pick on the Tatas. I think, in general, they have been a good corporate citizen of India and I agree with you regarding their immense contribution to India. They have also contributed quite a bit to Orissa. I am just saying
that since their dependence on Orissa's mineral resources is so much and the mineral resources, once mined, are gone, we should request them to compare their contribution between Jharkhand (Jamshedpur) and Orissa and convince them to contribute more to Orissa. Perhaps the tone of my letter was a bit strong (actually, many have told me otherwise), but we should let the Tatas know that we are watching out what they are giving to Jharkhand and what they are giving to orissa.

Also, this should be a start and all upcoming mining related investments such as Mittal, Posco, etc. should also be told/hinted-to that they must contribute a significant portion
(say 2-3%) of their investment towards the development of human resources in Orissa. If all of them do that then we would have successful transition from a mineral rich state to a state with mineral-depleted state but with highly developed human resources.  Otherwise when all our minerals are gone, which we are forced to sell cheaply in many cases, such as with respect to iron ores, Orissa will be in dire straits.

best regards
Chitta

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Mr. Panda then replied:

 
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My response to him: 

Dear Mr. Panda:

Thank you for forwarding the articles.

Just to make the comparison easier, lets list the Tata contributions to Jharkhand, and focus on annual contributions to social aspects:

(i) a 740 bed Tata main hospital in Jamshedpur with an annual expenditure of more than 25 crores [8]  

(ii) in 2000-2001 Tatas spent 120 crores on Jamshedpur's
 civic amenities (out of which 45 crore was offset through revenue collection) [8]. So there was a net contribution of 75 crores. (also an annual expenditure)

(iii) In August 2005 Tatas agreed to fund 50% of a 120 crore scheme of the Jharkhand government which will enable every member of the BPL family to avail of medical care. They promised to annually contribute Rs 25 crore for the next 30 years.
[ 9]

[8] http://www.hinduonnet.com/businessline/2001/10/30/stories/12301801.htm
[9] http://indica.co.za/tata_steel/releases/20050822.htm

Now please match the above with how much they spend on Orissa annually from where they get most of their ores cheaply to use in their Jamshedpur factory.

(i), (ii) and (iii) add up to 125 crores. I.e., Tatas are spending  at least Rs 125 crore annually for social purposes in Jharkhand.  The big question is how much do they spend annually for social purpose in Orissa?

In one of the articles you forwarded it says: "According to the survey, the TSRDS and TRC have spent around Rs 100 crore in Orissa, over the past 10 years." That comes to 10 crores per year.  I wonder beyond that how much more do they spend in Orissa annually? Please add the numbers they spend in the towns of Joda, Sukinda, Belpahar etc. (Please provide the proof of the numbers you use, similar to the links i am giving you.)

In summary,
Tata's contributions to Orissa is good, but i think it pales in comparison to Tata's contribution to Jharkhand. As a friend once said, we Oriyas are often happy with logenzes and so no wonder we don't get rosogollas which are given to our neighbours.

best regards
Chitta
 

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