A government official in central India has been suspended after he ordered a reservoir to be drained to retrieve his dropped phone.
Millions of litres of water were pumped over three days from the Kherkatta dam in the state of Chhattisgarh after Rajesh Vishwas, a food inspector, said his Samsung mobile held sensitive government data.
In a statement to local media, Vishwas said he had contacted a sub-divisional officer for permission to drain “some water” into a nearby canal. The drained amount, more than 2m litres of water, was enough to irrigate 600 hectares (1,500 acres) of farmland, according to reports.
“He said it was not an issue if three- [to] four-feet-deep water was drained, and would in fact benefit the farmers who would have more water,” Vishwas said.
After enlisting divers and using two diesel pumps to partly drain the reservoir, the phone was discovered days later but was too waterlogged for use.
India is one of the most water-stressed countries, being home to 18% of the world’s population and only 4% of its water resources, according to the World Bank.
This March was the hottest in India since records began 122 years ago. Extreme temperatures in India have caused widespread suffering, including deaths, crop losses, forest fires, and cuts to power and water supplies.
Priyanka Shukla, a Kanker district official, told the National newspaper: “He has been suspended until an inquiry. Water is an essential resource and it cannot be wasted like this.”
Source : The Guardian