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Cyber crimes flourishing in the State, HP Police stands helpless

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A person lodged a FIR complaining that the FB account of his spouse has been hacked and being misused by the anonymous culprit. However, HP Police showed their inability to have any means of dealing with this complaint.

Along with writing to Mark Zuckerberg, what else would you do if someone hacks your Facebook account and starts misusing it; go to the police? That’s what a guy did when FB account of his spouse was hacked last week by some cyber miscreants. Unfortunately, the couple wasn’t smart enough to have written immediately to FB support asking them to deactivate the account, rather ran to the Police station, as any victim of a violation would do. However, HP police surrendered, as they haven’t been trained to tackle Internet related crimes.

Here is the story from the beginning. On 28th of last month, the husband of the victim, a local resident of Sumerhill, approached the Boileauganj Police Station with his complaint that was forwarded to the Sumerhill Police station on 30 November. When the complainer approached the station asking action on his complaint, he realized, the HP Police too, was helpless, as they barely know anything about ‘Cyber Crime’. Rather, one of the policemen told him that we don’t even have a computer in the stations, hence, it’s in vain to have any hope for some action in such a case . The police consoled him saying, “Here, in our departments, we doesn’t have trained & skilled personals to handle this sort of job ”.

As soon as the complainer wrote to us, we asked him to write to FB immediately. However, we too wondered as to what department we should forward the complaint. A state with a high rate of literacy is so backward in terms of IT education. How the Himachal government, itself living in darkness, aims light the path for the public. Why the vision of our policy makers is so limited that they couldn’t see the apparent culture of growing cyber crimes inspite of witnessing enormous cases of cyber crime all around the globe. While the world shops from home, HP Police haven’t got even computers at their stations.
As a ray of hope, now HP police has realized the need of a branch that would deal with the growing trends of cyber-crimes. A few days ago, State Police Vigilance, IG, Ashok Sharma admitted that due to lack of skilled manpower, the cyber crimes are suddenly growing unchecked. The establishment of a cyber crime lab has been proposed in Shimla, where trained police personals would deal with the challenges posed by cyber criminals, ensuring a effectivelyimplementation of the Cyber crime Act in the State.

However, we fear, the HP government is already far behind in the online race to tackle the cyber crimes and the time it would take to set a lab and train the official, adds to the distance. At the national level, the police and courts are even confused about the Section 66-A of the Information Technology (IT) Act. The arrest of two Mumbai girls for a comment and a like on FB, which was a big misuse of the act, is the hottest ongoing debate.
On the behalf of the public, we would like to poke the government and say, “wake up guys and try to keep up with the world. IT education and Internet are two most necessary facilities without which the true development of the State cannot be achieved.”

We are forwarding the copy of the grievance to the IT department and SP Shimla Police. We would update the status regarding the same as soon as we receive a reply.

How To Keep Your FaceBook Account From Being Hacked

The message also contained a tiny link to a pornographic video.
Turns out he didn’t send the message. His Facebook account had been hacked.
If you have received a similar message through Facebook or MySpace and you clicked on the link you may have been exposed to a virus and your social site is subject to being hacked.
Other messages may read,
“your name” sent you a message.
Subject: hey
Woww! Is thhat reallly you in thaat videoo?
or
“Hey, I have this hilarious video of you dancing. Your face is so red. You should check it out”
Have you experienced unauthorized activity in your facebook account? Has it been hacked by someone you do not know?

How To Avoid Being Hacked on Facebook.

In this Notes, I’m going to tell you how your facebook account is hacked and how to KEEP IT FROM being hacked. This information could save you a lot of problems in the future, not to mention the embarrassment of sending out elicit links to your friends and family.
How FaceBook Is Hacked

The main way your Facebook account is hacked is by someone obtaining your password.
Hackers gain unauthorized access through fake apps or website links. This is commonly know as phishing.
When you click on a link to a Web site which looks identical to the Facebook log-in page you automatically enter your username and password. The hacker now has immediate access to your account. Now all he has to do is use his newly found credentials (yours) to log in and send a personal message to all of your friends. When your friends click on the link he gains access to their accounts also.

Hackers can also gain access to your Facebook account by retrieving your saved passwords from your browser. They send out emails that contain malicious software embedded in them. If you open the email, you send your information back to the hacker.

If you”re a moblie phone user you may also be susceptible to hacks since in some countries the network signal is not encrypted. The hacker can possibly enter into the data stream that flows between the mobile and mobile operator and gain access to all of the information that you are sending out.

Facebook Viruses

Since most hackers use sophisticated software to place a virus on your computer once it’s hacked I am including a small amount of information about Facebook Viruses-
The “Koobface” virus- This virus comes through an e-mail sent by one of your social networking site friends inviting you to view a video.
Just don’t open any tiny links to videos that you don’t know anything about and you’ll avoid being exposed to this virus.
PC World has an article outlining more details to the “Koobface” virus. “

The Bredolab Virus- According to mxlab, the email includes downloadable files which include the trojan virus: Bredolab. If you receive an email requesting a “Facebook Password Reset Confirmation” email you should delete it right away.
A sample email may look like this:
Hey (your name), Because of the measures taken to provide safety to our clients, your password has been changed. You can find your new password in attached document. Thanks, The Facebook Team
Imitating official emails is a standard method for spammers. Always avoid downloading email file and attachments. For more information on the Bredolab virus you may want to view this article: New Bredolab Virus Targets Unsuspecting Facebook Users

More information on How Facebook Viruses work.
I also found an article called Beware of Facebook Virus by KDVR FOX 31 Denver Newsthat tells how a malicious virus can affect your computer if your interested in more information about what a Facebook virus can do to you computer.

Has Your FaceBook Account been Hacked?
How To Keep Your Facebook Account from Being Hacked
Now that you know how your Facebook account is hacked and about Facebook viruses , I’ll cover a few steps to take to avoid having your account hacked.

1. Protect Your Password and Secret Answer
Remember, the most common cause of account hacking is by obtaining your password.
Is your password easy to remember?
Here are a few ways to protect your password:
Change your password to something with numbers, letters, and/or special characters (if you can).
Don”t make it too easy to guess. Don’t use your pet’s name or your birthday.
Don’t Trust anyone, No exceptions, don’t tell your password to ANYONE, including your friends.
How To Protect your “secret answer”:

Birthdays and Pet’s names are not the best secret answers. A great approach is to realize that there’s nothing that says your answer actually has to correspond to the question, so pick an unrelated answer that has nothing to do with you.
Maybe you can use something off the wall for your birth date such as “mayonnaise”. As long as you can remember it, it doesn’t matter what it is.
You may even consider using another password to protect your password.
Change your password every month or so to ensure that even if someone did figure it out, they will have to figure it out again to access your account.Consider getting an alternate email address. It’s easy to set up anther account using gmail , hotmail, or some other online service especially for passwords.
Consider using a special service or software to protect your passwords. I useLastpass. It’s free and it also includes a password generator.

2. Avoid using Facebook Apps you are unfamiliar with.

One of the great things about Facebook is the access to all the applications. It’s nice to have fun, but don’t trust all the invitations for apps that you don’t know anything about. That’s why Facebook always asks if you want to give permission to access a new application.

3. Don’t fall for password recovery schemes or fake emails.

If you receive an email that asks you to change your password, delete it.It’s that simple.
I almost never click on links that are in my junk folder because my gmail account does a pretty good job of filtering fake emails.
You will never be taken to some random site unless you click on a fake link.
When you simply open a fake e-mail you will send your private details to a hacker. Don’t open emails you are unfamiliar with. Once opened, the damage already has been done.
4. Take precautions using mobile apps.

If you use a mobile phone application to access your facebook account check to make sure the signal is encrypted.
In the Unite States most operaters use an encrypted signal but be aware that other countries may not use a protected wireless signal. To avoid any problems always check with the mobile carrier you are accessing.

5. Finally, Change Your Facebook Password Today

I just changed my Facebook Password today since I figure this article will make me a target for a Facebook hack. You may want to do the same. Just use the advice that I included in this article. You may consider installing Lastpass or one of the other password organizers listed under “P” on my internet business resources page to aid you in forming a secure password.

Do you have more advice about how to keep your Facebook Account from being hacked?

If you have more advice on how to keep your Facebook account from being hacked please let everyone know using the comment form below. If you found this article helpful I’d also appreciate your comment below.

Information Source: FaceBook

Environment

Public health in Shimla town still at risk as MC’s drinking water samples again fail quality tests

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Shimla water samples in 2018

Shimla: An advisory has been issued by the Shimla Municipal Corporation to boil drinking water as a precaution as samples of several sources including tanks and tube wells have been found contaminated with Citrobacter, Klebsiella oxytoca and Pseudomonas ssp bacteria.

These bacterias are associated with serious health problems including physical diseases to infections in various parts of the body.

As per the latest report released by the Indira Gandhi Medical College, Citrobacter bacteria was found in the samples taken from the public tap on Sanjauli Chowk and in Tibetan colony in Nabah and water tank in Phagli.

The samples taken from the water tank in Sector 3 of New Shimla were contaminated with Klebsiella oxytoca bacteria.

Despite spending on the installation of Ultra Violet water treatment technology, the samples of the Ashwani Khud keep failing the quality tests. The treated and untreated samples taken from Ashwani Khud contained Pseudomonas spp and Citrobacter, thus, failed the test.

Scroll Down to Read About Diseases/Infections Causes by These Bacterias

As a matter of serious concern, a video of showing the gigantic amount of plastic/solid waste and sewerage floating in the Khud that had gone viral on social media shows that the degradation of this source had only increased.

 

Further, samples taken from a hand pump in Chalaunthi and Engine Ghar were also found contaminated.

The Chau\launthi bawari and Bir Khana bawari in Kanlog also failed the test.

The samples were collected between 14 to 17 July.

The SMC, on the other hand, suggested that there could be some error in collecting samples and the water would be tested again.

The promises of the current SMC to provide clean and regular drinking water supply have fallen flat on their face. The Corporation is spending on water treatment technologies blindly without going into details of the causes that are leading to water contamination.

Former Mayor of Shimla and leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist), Sanjay Chauhan, condemned the act of putting public health at risk by supplying contaminated water to the citizens. He also questioned spending on expensive Ultra Violet Technology to treat water of Ashwani Khud as the samples of the same are still failing.

We can see in the reports also that samples of UV treated water have failed,

Sanjay pointed out

Malyana STP is almost redundant and about 4.5 MLD raw and untreated sewer water is released in the Ashwini Khud from this STP. It can’t be even treated with UV treatment,

he said when asked why spending on UV technology was in vain.

Moreover, it can’t be foolproof because of our lousy handling of plants and pumping stations. Nowhere in the world sewer treated water used for drinking. It’s used for agricultural and other purposes,

he added.

The SMC is still rationing water supply. While most of the localities are supplied water after a gap of one day, some localities complained they were still receiving even rationed supply regularly, he said.

Currently, the city requires 30 MLD water per day to meet the total demand and MC is receiving 40-45 MLD water per day, but still the public is not receiving regular water supply, Sanjay said.

The water pumps at the supply schemes are shut down for several hours as storage tanks of the Corporation remain full, which could be easily avoided if the town is given daily supply. 

Further, Sanjay also pointed out that the SMC has decided cancel the Greater Shimla Water Supply & Sewerage Circle (GSWSSC) and to hand over the water supply in the municipal area to a newly formed private company. However,  no attention was paid on improving the quality of the water, he said.

The MC should learn from the way the privatization of sanitation works is already heading towards a failure even before it could be implemented in entire town.

The CPI(M) has demanded supply of clean water supply to the town and the revival of the GSWSSC instead of handing the supply to private hands, which, it expects, would only worsen the situation.

Otherwise, the party warned the government of public protests.

The Ward Councilors and the Deputy Mayor recently visited Kerala as a study tour, if the SMC to be believed. The MC claimed it studied the methodology of the civic bodies of the State to learn how to supply 24×7 water. It further claimed, it would implement the same in Shimla town and by October, some of the Wards would start to get non-stop supply.

In reality, that credit would go to the ongoing Kol Dam project that has faced a delay of over five years before it was taken up following the severe scarcity of drinking water in the town.

Currently, the civic body needs to focus on the issue of contamination of drinking water supply. The public money must be spend judiciously while buying more technologies for  treatment of water. The government departments need to take up the task of conducting research studies/surveys to comprehend the real problem and buy the suitable technology or take steps accordingly.

Diseases Caused by Citrobacter Bacteria

The members of this species can cause several infections and diseases primarily in neonates and individuals with weak immune system. It can cause nosocomial infections of the respiratory tract, urinary tract, and the blood. Further, Citrobacter is the well-identified cause of sporadic pneumonia, Hepatic, biliary and pancreatic disease, and neonatal sepsis and meningitis.

The mortality rate of Citrobacter meningitis is unacceptably high, with death rates of patients ranging from 25 to 50 %. About 75 percent of the survivors face serious neurological problems.

Diseases/infections caused by Klebsiella oxytoca

Klebsiella also targets individual with a weak immune system including diabetic patients, alcoholics, those using catheter tube, antibiotics for long time and ventilators.

Klebsiella normally lives inside the human intestine but it does not cause any disease in the intestine. Klebsiella causes a range of illness to the human body including, pneumonia, wound infection, surgical site infection, bloodstream infection, urinary tract infection and meningitis.

Diseases/infections caused by Pseudomonas ssp bacteria

As opportunistic pathogens, Pseudomonas spp. often invades the host tissue and cause infection and bacteremia in immunocompromised hosts (e.g., HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, burns, malignancy, or diabetes mellitus)

The common site of infection is the lower respiratory tract, and severity ranges from colonization without immunological response to severe necrotizing bronchopneumonia.

It’s also a common cause of nosocomial ventilator-related pneumonia. Infections also include endocarditis, osteomyelitis, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, meningitis, and, commonly, septicaemia.

The symptoms depend on location of the infection in all three cases. However, some of the common symptoms include fever, flu symptoms, breathing issues and cough.

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Environment

Disturbing Ashwani Khad viral video is real, but fake for Govt (more clips)

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Shimla: A disturbing viral video showing a large stream carrying tons of solid garbage is indeed the Ashwani Khad or Asni river – a major source of drinking water to Shimla town and Solan.

It has been confirmed that Shimla has now begun to destroy the very sources that offer them invaluable drinking water. Anyone who came across this scene was bewildered.

Himachal Watcher talked to the person, Abhay Sharma and a few other locals, who had recorded the videos as well as the one who had uploaded it on social media. The video was recorded on July 2 near Ashwani Khad not far from Salogra in Solan district.

The gigantic amount of thrash and various sorts of other waste is also real, HW was told.

Not just solid waste like plastic and plastic bottles and bags, thermocol etc., but it also carried a large amount of sewage allegedly discharged under the cover of the heavy rain. The entire region was filled with an unbearable smell of sewage. HW was told.

The contamination of the stream not only threatens the environment but also poses a serious health hazard to the health of the people who receive this water as a drinking water supply.

However, as a shocker, when HW asked the Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Amit Kashyap regarding the video, he insisted that it was a fake video.

The video is edited and the location also appears to be foreign. The type of plastic visible in the video is not found in Shimla, and there is no such green patch near Salogra or Ashwani Khad,

the DC insisted.

It was a typical ostrich approach – closing eyes and denying the threat. 

When asked about waste management in rural areas of upper Shimla region, he said everything is fine and the waste is disposed of properly.

We have formed teams to monitor and ensure proper arrangements for the waste disposal,

he said.

He also insisted that the daily solid waste generated by the town is also collected daily and taken to the waste treatment plant in Bhariyal.

Officials of the Shimla Municipal Corporation and the State Pollution Control Board are also washing their hands off by terming the video as fake. As per these bodies, everything is at its place.

As per complainants, it began to happen from past couple of years, especially during heavy monsoon rains.

It’s not the first time that the Khad (rivulet) was flooded with an overwhelming amount of thrash. We have witnessed it at least thrice earlier including twice this year,

Abhay, who is also a member of the non-profit organization Healing Himalayas, told Himachal Watcher.

The complainants suggested that it happens when it rains heavy in Shimla. Ashwani Khad flows through upper areas of Shimla like Charabra and passes through the periphery of Shimla town.

The solid waste collection and treatment is in tatters in both the Shimla town and upper areas under Panchayats.

Himachal Watcher also talked to the former Mayor of Shimla town, Sanjay Chauhan.

He rubbished these statements of the district administration and the civic body saying that a large amount of garbage begins to enter the stream starting from upper Shimla due to lack of waste management.

To check random dumping of the trash generated by panchayats, we had taken an initiative under which panchayats were provided facility to remove garbage, and a small amount of fee was charged from panchayats. The scheme was now suspended and the solid waste is thrown anywhere. With heavy rain, it’s washed away and enters the stream,

said Sanjay.

He further pointed out that the garbage generated by residents of Krishna Nagar (Slum) is thrown down the hill. This waste keeps accumulating throughout the year. When it rains heavy, it’s washed away and goes directly into the Khad in Lalpani.

The solid waste collection and management have deteriorated during the past one year. The workers either remained on strike as much as four to five times or didn’t collected the garbage regularly due to poor attitude of the MC towards their demands and grievances,

Sanjay said.

Now, the SMC has handed over the job of door-to-door garbage to a private contractor. The company was supposed to take the charge of sanitation work in five wards from July 1, 2018, however, neither the contractor nor his workers begun the work so far, said Sanjay.

The only way to control it is to ensure that no waste is dumped near the Khad, which is not happening.

Meanwhile, the video is doing rounds of social media not just in India but also in other foreign countries.  Now, it is to be seen whether the State government bothers to order a probe into it or just take it casually.

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HW Community

Illegal construction in D’shala (Pics): Would stop salary if no action taken against erring officials, HC warns TCP Secretary

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Dharamshala: During the last hearing in a petition on July 6, 2018, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had expressed displeasure with the government departments for the way they are responding to directions passed by it regarding action on officials responsible for allowing illicit and illegal construction by violating various construction laws and environmental guidelines.

We may also observe that since the year 2015, no action, whatsoever, stands taken against any one of the concerned officer(s)/official(s), who allowed such unauthorised construction to come up at the first place,

a bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel said during the hearing. 

Himachal Watcher also have some exclusive pictures and a video showing rampant damage to and felling of trees in the Dharamshala town due to alleged illegal construction activities despite court orders against the same.

The visuals show the apathy of the various government departments who are not discharging their duties but are still getting paid.

Ilegal tree felling in Dharamshala town 6

These photos were one of the evidence that exposed the deliberate damage illegal construction has caused to the trees in the town in broad daylight and resistance from concerned departments.

Ilegal tree felling in Dharamshala town

Pictures annexed with Local Commissioner’s report submitted to High Court

The pictures were taken by advocate Deven Khanna, who had visited the area under Municipal Corporation in April after the Court appointed him as the local commissioner.

Ilegal tree felling in Dharamshala town 5

The pictures show how unscientific and excess excavation of slopes was undertaken in such a manner that makes them vulnerable to damages and even felling during monsoon.

Watch Video

In fact, digging out soil beneath trees is deliberately used to fell trees, especially under the cover of monsoon rains. It was one of the revelations made in the local commissioner’s report submitted to the Court.

We have noticed, as is apparent from the report of the Local Commissioner, that private individuals are adopting different ways and means of ensuring that trees over their land, which are not only priceless but valuable from environmental point of view, are allowed to be felled/uprooted so as to make it appear that it is on account of natural calamity,

the bench observed.

It must be noted here that Dharamshala receives third highest rainfall in the entire country. The strategy is to fell trees by exposing their roots to the elements, then by digging out the land beneath them and waiting for the monsoons,

the local commissioner had specifically mentioned in his report submitted to the Court. 

The report had also mentioned that roads have been made in a very dangerous fashion. 

Two roads specifically were noticed (Maclodegunj to Dharamkot road and mountaineering institute road) where at least 500 to 1000 trees can be saved if restoration work is done immediately, said the report. 

Related Story: Did HP Govt finish Dharamshala’s ‘Core Area’ to facilitate illegal construction?

The remarks made during this hearing aptly confirmed unwillingness of the State government to take action against its erring officials irrespective of the ruling political party. 

Ilegal tree felling in Dharamshala town 4

The Court had pulled up the government for not taking action against erring officials posted during the time of illegal constructions in the town despite repeated directions.

Despite the Court having issued several directions, continuously since the year 2015, calling upon the authorities to check illicit and illegal felling of trees as also check unauthorised construction, there has been rampant, grave, unauthorised and illegal construction and felling of trees,

the bench observed.

Illegal tree felling in dharamshala

It is in 2018 that only after Court’s intervention such unauthorized structures are now being sealed and demolished, the bench further said. The government is not taking any action on its own.

Noticing absolute apathy on the part of the Government in taking action against any one of its officer/official, we do not hesitate to record that despite prodding, the Secretary, Town and Country Planning has not taken any action,

the bench observed.

We would not hesitate in expressing our displeasure on this count. In fact, we are of the view that salaries of all the persons who are supposed to monitor the construction activities, should be withheld, for they have failed to discharge their duties violators were endeavouring to procrastinate the proceeding pending before various authorities so as to obstruct and impede the enforcement of the orders passed by this Court,

the bench added.

As per Mr. Tara Singh Chauhan, standing Counsel, 70 individuals allegedly violating environmental laws were issued notices. This is in addition to the disconnection of water and electricity to 46 violators.

During a hearing on April 24, 2018, the Advocate General had told the court that despite directions passed by the court, the electricity of some of such consumers who had violated the law with impunity was not disconnected.

Related Story: Shocking video/photos expose Govt Officer’s lies about illegal slate mining in Dharamshala

The court also observed that it is only when the Court is passing orders, the officers/officials are taking action, rather reluctantly.

As the Court did not receive any explanation from concerned officials, the Court said it was in favour of stopping the release of their salaries.

We would have directed the salaries of such officer(s) / official(s) not to be released, but are persuaded by the learned Advocate General not to pass such orders,

the bench stated.

We clarify that if no such action is taken, we would not hesitate in stopping the salary of the concerned Secretary also,

the bench warned.

The bench has also directed the Director, Town and Country Planning and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Dharamshala, to submit the list of all the officers of the rank of Junior Engineer(s) and above, who were posted within the municipal limits of Dharamshala, since the year 2010, within two days alongwith their tenure and place of posting.

The Court has challenged the government’s disinterest in controlling corruption and sluggishness. The action of withholding their salaries would result in a reaction from the government. 

The next hearing is scheduled for July 30, 2018. 

Crucial Findings of Local Commissioner’s Report 

The local commissioner had suggested that at least 1,000 trees can easily be saved by putting iron meshes, stones and mud, or by putting retaining walls. The roots have to be covered and the spaces beneath the trees have to be immediately filled and supported.   

As an unfortunate fact, the report had stated that no attempt was being made to restore or protect the trees. 

Other points of the report:

  1. Permissions for felling of trees is not being accorded by tree authority/ tree committee after applying its mind to the situation, no attempt is being made to save the green trees, it was also noticed that the tree authority is not sitting every month as required by the statute.
  2. No tree has been numbered, in fact, the numbering of trees has not even begun, it seems like that the mandatory directions given in the famous forest case in the year 1996 have not been communicated or is being embarrassingly flouted by the forest department and municipalities of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  3. No attempt is being made by the departments to include technology and use it as a tool to map out and number trees. With the help of satellite, mapping and numbering trees are quicker and one can get an approximation of the total number, same data can be corroborated with drone images to get a more accurate number.
  4. This task won’t ever be done by the forest guards as the area of Himachal is very huge with vast forest cover, this is the sole reason provided by the forest department for not numbering the trees since 1996 mandatory direction of T.N Godhaverman.
  5. That the Tree Authority shall ensure while granting permission to fell/cut trees that the applicant shall plant 10 other trees specifically “Tall Trees” of the same or other suitable species preferably on the same site or close to its vicinity within 60 days of the date when the tree is axed.
  6. The person/entity may also be asked to pay for the environmental damage (which can be the value of the wood + the loss of environment caused to the area), and such fund collected may directly be used by the “plant nurseries” in town for growing and maintaining “tall trees”.
  7. It is seen that, at present, the funds which are collected, are not directly used for restoring the area where felling took place. They are used for “reforestation activities” after a long process and such “reforestation activities” usually happen at some other place and not close to the vicinity of the damaged area.

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