Draining Reservoir to Retrieve Phone Leads to Suspension for Government Official in India

The official dropped his phone in the dam while taking a selfie.

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A government official in India is facing backlash after he ordered the draining of water from a reservoir to find his phone, which he dropped in the dam while taking a selfie.

NBC News reports Rajesh Vishwas, a local food inspector, was vacationing in India's central state of Chhattisgarh when he dropped his Samsung phone in the Kherkatta dam. Vishwas first sent divers into the water to recover the device, claiming it contained official government data. After the initial rescue attempt proved unsuccessful, Vishwas ordered the entire reservoir drained.

Over three days starting May 22, a team of workers drained more than 2 million liters from the Paralkot reservoir, which former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh notes is enough water to irrigate roughly 1,500 acres of land.

Vishwas has since been suspended for draining "water from Paralkot reservoir located in Pakhanjur of Kanker,” Chhattisgarh's public relations office announced in a tweet. “He has been suspended by Collector Dr. Priyanka Shukla with immediate effect due to his act contrary to the provisions of the Civil Services Rules, 1966.”

According to Vishwas, the issue has been "exaggerated," as the food inspector claims he received “oral permission” from a local Water Resources Department official to drain the dam.

Twitter: @IndianExpress

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