A food inspector in Chhattisgarh has been suspended after he allegedly drained Paralkot reservoir to find his mobile phone.
Rajesh Vishwas, had gone to the reservoir with friends on May 21, 2023, when he accidentally dropped his phone into the water. Vishwas then allegedly contacted the irrigation department and asked them to drain the reservoir so he could find his phone – a Samsung Galaxy S23.
Vishwas said, “I went to the dam on Sunday with a few friends to take a bath there on my off day. My phone slipped into the overflow tankers, whose water is not usable. It was 10 feet deep. Locals tried to find it but failed.”
The irrigation department initially refused to comply with Vishwas’s request, but they eventually agreed after he threatened to file a complaint against them. Vishwas said he had the approval of his superior to drain the reservoir. However, the Office of Superintendent Engineer has ordered the cost of the water to be deducted from the said superior SDO RK Dhivar.
Dhivar allegedly gave permission to drain only 3-4 feet of water.
The reservoir was drained over a period of three days, and Vishwas was able to retrieve his phone. However, the incident sparked outrage among the public, who accused Vishwas of wasting precious water.
Vishwas was suspended from his job on May 26, 2023. The irrigation department also filed a police complaint against him for wasting water. Vishwas has since apologized for his actions, saying that he was “in a state of panic” when he dropped his phone.
He is facing a media firestorm for wasting enough water to supply 1,500 acres of crops in an often drought-stricken country.