A day after intense showers ravaged several parts of Pune district, Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil faced the ire of citizens on Friday, even as the death toll across the district rose to 18.Speaking here after surveying the worst-hit spots in the city and the district, Mr. Patil blamed illegal constructions and encroachments for the flash deluge that resulted in massive damage to property and loss of life.“Illegal constructions and encroachments on various canals have diverted the natural flow of streams, which led to water entering residential societies and wrecking property. The causes for these constructions have to be investigated. Moreover, why weren’t basic security measures followed at the time of these constructions?” Mr. Patil asked. Team to probe disasterHe said a team comprising senior IAS officials would be constituted to investigate the disaster. He also said all relief measures for the rain-affected in Pune would be applicable under the government resolution (GR) issued at the time of the Kolhapur and Sangli floods.On Thursday, when the city was coping with the rain damage, the Guardian Minister was in Delhi to iron out the seat-sharing issues between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena for the elections.Earlier, irate protesters blocked Mr. Patil’s convoy near Tangewala Society in Aranyeshwar area, prompting him and his entourage to leave the spot after barely 15 minutes. Five people died after the society’s compound wall collapsed owing to the relentless downpour. Protesters demanded to know what Mr. Patil was doing in Delhi when the city was being battered by flash floods.Urging him to go back, they said the Guardian Minister’s belated visit was merely a photo opportunity.Mr. Patil said those heckling him were mere “troublemakers” hired by the opposition parties. “There were no problems whatsoever. I was [at Tangewala Society] for 20-25 minutes. Genuine citizens told me about their problems. The rest were troublemakers hired by opposition parties.” He said because the model code of conduct is in place for the Assembly elections, he was compelled to put things before the aggrieved citizens in a restrained manner.Toll up to 18Meanwhile, the death toll across the district rose to 18 with at least four people still missing. There were unconfirmed reports of two more bodies being recovered, indicating a likely rise in the number of the deaths.More than 3,000 people in the city are lodged in transit camps, while teams of the fire department and nearly 2,000 municipal workers carried out cleanliness drives and relief operations.Despite the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) warnings of likely heavy rain on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, the weather remained calm throughout the better part of Friday. Schools and colleges across the city and four other tehsils of the district remained shut following a precautionary directive of the Pune District Collector.According to a release issued on Friday afternoon, the IMD has forecast light to moderate rain on Friday night to be followed by light rain over the weekend.
Hashflags are the new phenomenon on Twitter. A concept, appearing in its second avatar on the occasion of the football world cup in Brazil, has taken over fans on the popular social media platform.A hashflag allows football fans to display a country’s flag by simply putting a hashtag followed by a three-letter country code. The feature lets fans express the love for their team through an emoticon. #BRA, for instance, when mentioned in a tweet, will automatically put a Brazilian flag after #BRA in a tweet.Twitter has reintroduced its popular hashflags, allowing fans to display their countries flag by simply putting a hashtag followed by the three letter country code.Shakira, who sang ‘Waka Waka’, the official 2010 World Cup song, was among the first users of this popular feature. Twitter launched hashflags in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but it did not catch much attention.The Indian flag, sadly, does not have a hashflag yet because this feature is currently restricted to the 32 participating teams in the football world cup.Shakira, who sang Waka Waka, the official 2010 World Cup song, was among the first users of this popular feature.Clicking on the hashflag code in a tweet takes a user to the team’s official Twitter account, with the exception of Iran which has blocked Twitter. The team’s official Twitter account lists statistics and information of the team.This world cup, Twitter will be tallying all the tweets containing hashflags and unveil the “World Cup of Tweets”. The winner will be the country with the most number of hashflags tweeted.advertisement
Images leaked online show that Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry has more than just the BlackBerry Passport headed to consumers. A service that allows users to use their smartphones remotely through tablets, laptops or desktops. This service is called BlackBerry Blend and may follow the BlackBerry Passport soon. The service was listed on BlackBerry World and first spotted on by Crackberry. With Blend, Blackberry users will be able to accomplish a variety of tasks from their choice of computer like sending and receiving texts, responding to BBM chats, access Blackberry Hub accounts, view appointments and agenda, create new entries in calendar, and also transfer files between their BlackBerry devices and the computer. Users will also be able to use company intranet securely with Blend if their devices have BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. Tasks like creating backups of user data, restoring user data to a device and copying pictures, music and videos which earlier needed the Blackberry Desktop Software can also be accomplished using Blend.BlackBerry has recently been sending out invites worldwide to an event on the 24th of September. Invites have been spotted for events in Toronto, Dubai, London and Delhi. It’s expected that this event will see the unveiling of Blackberry Blend as well.Also at the event, Blackberry is expected to launch the 4.5 inch, QWERTY sporting Passport, a smartphone powered by a 2.2 Ghz Snapdragon 800, a resolution of 1440 x 1440 pixels, 3GB RAM, an Adreno 330 GPU and 32GB built in storage. A 13MP rear and 2MP front camera are also available on the device. The phone is a novelty in that it brings a physical keyboard back after smartphones have completely ditched the feature in recent years. advertisement