Official Suspended after Draining Reservoir Where He Dropped Phone

A government official who ordered a reservoir to be drained just so he could retrieve his $1,200 (£970) smartphone after dropping it while taking a selfie has been suspected. Food inspector Rajesh Vishwas dropped his Samsung smartphone in Kherkatta Dam in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh last week, The Times of India newspaper reported.

He first asked divers to search for the device, claiming it contained sensitive government data, but when their efforts failed, he asked for the reservoir to be emptied using diesel pumps. The waterlogged smartphone would not start when it was found. Authorities suspended Mr Vishwas after he was widely criticised for wasting water resources.

Priyanka Shukla, a Kanker district official, told The National newspaper: ‘He has been suspended until an inquiry. Water is an essential resource and it cannot be wasted like this.’ But the official has denied that the draining was a misuse of his position and said that the lost water was in the overflow section of the dam and therefore ‘not in usable condition’. 

But he has been condemned by politicians and the state’s opposition party BJP national vice president saying online: ‘When people are depending upon tankers for water facility in scorching summers, the officer has drained 41 lakh litres which could have been used for irrigation purpose for 1,500 acres of land.’ 

India is one of the most water-stressed countries and extreme temperatures had led to severe water scarcity, causing crop losses, forest fires and cuts to power.


Daily Mail
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