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 Phone
Rajesh Vishwas found himself in a predicament when he accidentally dropped his phone into the Kherkatta Dam while taking a selfie.
Selfie or Sensitive Government Data
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.
Divers Couldn’t Locate the Phone
So he hired some local divers to get his fallen phone. However, it was of no use.
All His Attempts to Retrieve the Phone Failed
When the initial attempt to retrieve the phone failed, Vishwas went a step further.
Two Million Liters of Water Down the Drain
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.
It Was Only a Few Feet
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.”
Relaxing While the Water Pours Away
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.
Draining to Farmland
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.
Complaints and Concerns
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 Precious!
“Water is a precious resource that cannot be misused in this way,” said one official.
Wasting a Resource and Power
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.
He Minimized the Issue
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.
He Found His Phone
Finally, the attempt was successful, and the phone was found.
Of Course, it Was Broken
However, it was damaged and not in working condition.
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.
Not His First Offence
Another officer stated, “Vishwas was suspended in 2021 for alleged wrongdoing in rice distribution. After receiving a clean check, the Collector reinstated him.
As a result of the situation, Vishwas has faced much criticism from politicians and the public.
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