A government official in India ordered the draining of a dam in search of his mobile phone that fell while taking a selfie. As a result of this behavior, the Indian official was given a suspended sentence.
As reported by the BBC, Saturday (27/5/2023), it took up to three days to pump out millions of liters of water from the dam called Kherkatta in the Chhattisgarh region, after a local official named Rajesh Vishwas dropped his mobile phone into the dam while taking a photo selfies.
When it was found, the cell phone, which cost 100,000 Rupees, or the equivalent of 18 million, was too wet to function again.
Vishwas, who served as food inspector, claimed the cellphone contained sensitive government data and needed to be found. But later he was accused of abusing his position.
After deploying local divers who failed to find the phone, Vishwas paid for a rental diesel pump to be brought into the dam complex. He claimed to have obtained verbal permission from the relevant officials to drain the dam’s water into a nearby canal.
“That would actually benefit the farmers who have more water,” Vishwas claimed in a video statement quoted by local Indian media.
The water pump works for several days and drains about two million liters of water, which is enough to irrigate 6 square kilometers of farmland. Vishwas’ efforts were halted when another official from the Department of Water Resources came to the scene after receiving a complaint.
“He is disabled until investigations are completed. Water is an important resource and cannot be wasted like this,” a Cancer district official, Priyanka Shukla, told The National newspaper.
Vishwas has denied accusations of abusing his position, claiming that the water pumped out came from an overflowing section of the dam and was “not in a usable condition”.
Vishwas’ actions drew criticism from other politicians. “When people depend on tankers for water facilities in the hot summer, officials have drained 41 lakh liters of water that should have been used for irrigation of 1,500 hectares of land,” the vice president of the local opposition party criticized.
Source : Detik news