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.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrate after their team scored against the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/John Hefti)OAKLAND, Calif. — On a night the Los Angeles Clippers set records with their 3-point shooting, Steph Curry won the game for Golden State at the rim.Curry made a layup with 0.5 seconds left and the Warriors outlasted the Clippers 129-127 in an emotionally charged game Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “That’s just who they are,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about Curry and Durant. “They’re aggressive, they’re talented, and they both had just incredible moments during that game where they each took over.”Harris led Los Angeles with 32 points, and Lou Williams added 25.The Clippers’ shot 81.2 percent from 3-point range in the first half (13 for 16), setting an NBA record for highest 3-point percentage in a half (minimum 13 made). Those 13 first-half 3s also set a franchise record for most in a half.“We don’t really take moral victories,” Beverley said. “We could have, and we should have, won today, but we came up short.”As for his flare-up with Curry, Beverley said: “We’re a tough team, they’re a tough team, too. … It’s basketball. It’s going to stay basketball.”ADVERTISEMENT Curry had 42 points to tie his second-highest scoring output of the season. He also got the last laugh after he exchanged heated words with Clippers guard Patrick Beverley in the first quarter, a sequence that earned both players a technical foul.The Clippers’ Avery Bradley tied it at 127 with a dunk with 20.6 seconds remaining. On the next possession, Curry had Montrezl Harrell on him at the top of the key, drove down the middle of the lane and converted the layup off the glass for the winner.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefTobias Harris missed a shot as time expired, giving the Warriors their eighth victory in 10 games.Kevin Durant added 35 points for Golden State to help offset the Clippers’ 78-percent (18 of 23) 3-point shooting. Warriors: Durant has scored 30 or more points in four of the last six games. … It was Golden State’s second of three back-to-backs with both games at Oracle.UP NEXTClippers: Host Sacramento on Wednesday night.Warriors: Host LeBron James and the Lakers in a marquee Christmas game Tuesday night. James played in Oakland last Christmas with Cleveland ahead of a fourth straight NBA Finals matchup against the Warriors.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Valdez, Ravena nip Soriano, de Guzman Durant had 14 points in the third quarter and Curry added 11 as the Warriors outscored the Clippers 36-23 to take a 103-94 lead into the fourth.Harris was 5 for 5 from long distance in the first half and had 19 points as Los Angeles led 71-67 at the break.Curry had 22 points in the half, but Golden State was 5 of 16 from 3-point range. However, they outscored Los Angeles 24-10 from the free throw line in the first two quarters and that kept it close.INJURY UPDATEDurant landed awkwardly and rolled his left ankle in the first quarter. He got up gingerly but stayed in the game and played with a wrap on his ankle.“I don’t think it’s anything serious, but we’ll see how he holds up when he comes in tomorrow,” Kerr said.SPECIAL BOBBLEHEADThe Warriors had a little fun with Curry, decorating a bobblehead box to make it astronaut-themed and leaving it at the two-time MVP’s locker Sunday, in light of Curry’s recent comments about not believing there was ever a U.S. moon landing. Curry held a lengthy Skype chat last weekend with astronaut Scott Kelly to tell Kelly and others he meant no harm with the joke about not believing in the moon landing.TIP-INSClippers: The Clippers have lost 14 of the past 16 regular-season meetings against Golden State. … Los Angeles won 125-106 last Jan. 10 at Oracle Arena to snap an 11-game losing streak on the Warriors’ home floor. 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