October 5, 2023

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An Indian official stopped after draining the tank to retrieve the lost phone

An Indian official stopped after draining the tank to retrieve the lost phone


May 28, 2023 | 1:37 a.m

A government official in India has been suspended after ordering an entire tank to be drained so he could retrieve a phone he dropped in water while taking a selfie.

Rajesh Vishwas, a food inspector, dropped a $1,200 Samsung phone into the Kharkata Dam in central India’s Chhattisgarh state on Sunday. According to the BBC.

Indian media reported that Vishwas claimed the phone contained sensitive government information and deployed local divers to help find it.

Vishwas was quoted as telling local media that when the divers failed to find the phone, he paid for the introduction of a diesel pump to remove the water.

The food inspector claimed to have obtained verbal permission from an official to drain “some water into a nearby canal”. He said he was told the move would “actually benefit the farmers, who will get more water”.

For three days, the pumps worked and released 440,000 gallons of water—enough to irrigate nearly 1,500 acres of farmland.

By the time the phone was finally found, it wasn’t even working.

Vishwas was arrested after a water resources official responded to a complaint. He was subsequently dismissed from his government post.

He has been suspended pending investigation. Kanker district official Priyanka Shukla told The National that water is an essential resource and it cannot be wasted in this way.

Vishwas denied abusing his position. He said that the water he drained was from the overflowing part of the dam and “is not in usable condition.”

The officials’ actions sparked outrage among Indian politicians.

“When people depend on tankers for water utility in hot summers, the officer drained 41 liters of land that would have been used for irrigation purposes for 1,500 acres of land,” said the national vice president of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party on Twitter.

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