In a bizarre incident in India, a government official has been suspended after ordering the draining of a reservoir to retrieve his lost phone.
He Dropped His New Phone in a Dam
Rajesh Vishwas found himself in a predicament when he accidentally dropped his phone into the Kherkatta Dam while taking a selfie. In a state of panic, he didn’t know what to do, so he claimed that the phone contained sensitive government data and needed to be recovered.
So he hired some local divers to get his fallen phone. However, it was of no use.
His Initial Attempts to Retrieve the Phone Failed
When the initial attempt to retrieve the phone failed, Vishwas went a step further. He arranged for two powerful pumps to be operated continuously for three days, resulting in the drainage of 2 million liters of water.
He claimed that he had received verbal permission from an official who believed that this action would benefit local farmers by providing them with more water.
Vishwas had said, “I called up the sub-divisional officer (SDO) of the Water Resources Department (RC Dhivar), who provided permission as it was only a few feet of water. I was terribly disappointed as I dropped the phone into the reservoir. I acquired the phone just two months ago.”
Vishwas can be seen relaxing under a red umbrella near the diesel pumps running to empty the reservoir in social media videos that went viral.
He Drained 2 Million Liters of Water
Vishwas further said, “Over two days, I drained about three feet of water from the reservoir starting on Tuesday night after paying Rs 7,500 ($90) for a diesel pump.”
The volume drained was sufficient to irrigate 600 hectares of farmland. However, this operation came to an abrupt end when an official from the water resource department intervened following a complaint. The incident raised serious concerns about the misuse of power and the wastage of vital resources like water.
“Water is a precious resource that cannot be misused in this way,” said one official.
Wasting a Precious Resource
Vishwas, in his defense, denied misusing his position and argued that the water drained was from the dam’s overflow section, which was not usable. He claimed that the operation did not deplete the water available for regular use or irrigation purposes.
As a reply to the accusation, Vishwas further said, “The water in the reservoir is only used by picnickers for bathing and not for irrigation or any similar purpose,” and he accused the media of “exaggerating” the entire scenario.
Finally, the attempt was successful, and the phone was found. However, it was damaged and not in working condition.
The Phone, Finally Found, Was Damaged and No Longer Worked
As a consequence of his actions, Rajesh Vishwas was suspended pending an inquiry.
Priyanka Shukla, a district official, expressed her disapproval of Vishwas’s conduct, emphasizing that water is an essential resource that cannot be wasted in such a manner.
Another officer stated, “Vishwas was suspended in 2021 for alleged wrongdoing in rice distribution. After receiving a clean check, the Collector reinstated him.
The Official Has Been Suspended
As a result of the situation, Vishwas has faced much criticism from politicians and the public.
So what are your thoughts? Do you think the official did the right thing by pumping millions of liters of water?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.