In a bizarre incident in India, a government official has been suspended after ordering the draining of a reservoir to retrieve his lost phone. Here’s the full story.
Selfie Gone Wrong
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, and he claimed that the phone contained sensitive government data and needed to be recovered.
He Hired Divers to Find the Phone
So he hired some local divers to get his fallen phone. However, it was of no use.
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, draining 2 million liters of water.
He Said He Got Permission
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 viral social media videos.
He Drained Millions of Liters of Water
Vishwas further said, “Over two days, I drained about three feet of water from the reservoir starting Tuesday night after paying Rs 7,500 ($90) for a diesel pump.”
The volume drained was sufficient to irrigate 600 hectares of farmland.
He Was Accused of Misusing His Position
However, this operation ended abruptly when an official from the water resource department intervened following a complaint.
The incident raised serious concerns about the misuse of power and the waste of vital resources.
“Water is a precious resource that cannot be misused in this way,” said one official.
He Denied the Accusations
In his defense, Vishwas denied misusing his position and argued that the water drained was from the dam’s overflow section, which was unusable.
He claimed the operation did not deplete the water available for regular use or irrigation.
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.
They Found the Phone
Finally, they found the phone was found. However, it was damaged and not in working condition.
He Was Suspended
Due to 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.
He Had Done This Before
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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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Krakenimages.com. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.