Indian official drains entire reservoir to find dropped phone

The official was suspended after the incident.
Loukia Papadopoulos
The phone was found but it was ruined.jpg
The phone was found but it was ruined.


How far would you go to retrieve a lost phone? One Indian official got suspended after he dropped his smartphone in an essential water reservoir and proceeded to have it emptied to retrieve it.

This is according to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) published on Sunday.

Rajesh Vishwas was a food inspector who was taking a selfie close to the Kherkatta Dam in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh last weekend. It was during this photo opportunity that his phone slid from his hand and fell into the reservoir.

Divers attempted to find the phone but failed. Making what will later prove to be an ill-advised decision he ordered that the reservoir be emptied and bought a diesel pump to help in the activity.

A monstrous task

The task was monstrous taking workers three days to pump millions of liters of water out of the dam.

Vishwas claimed the smartphone contained sensitive government information that absolutely needed to be recovered.

This did not stop him from being suspended. Making matters worse was the fact that once the phone was found it was too unusable and his precious data could not be recovered.

To defend his actions, the official released a statement to local media, stating he had verbal permission from an official to drain “some water into a nearby canal” adding that it “would, in fact, benefit the farmers, who would have more water.”

The sentiment was not shared by his superiors. Priyanka Shukla, Kanker district official told the local newspaper The National: “He has been suspended until an inquiry. Water is an essential resource, and it cannot be wasted like this.”

Vishwas replied that the drained water was from an overflow section of the dam that was not “in usable condition” but reports from the SCMP revealed that it could have indeed irrigated 1,500 acres of land during a particularly hot and dry summer.

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