Indian official suspended after he drains reservoir to retrieve phone he dropped while taking selfie
NEW DELHI: A government official in India has been suspended from his job after he ordered a water reservoir to be drained so he could retrieve his smartphone, which he had dropped while taking a selfie.
Food inspector Rajesh Vishwas dropped his Samsung smartphone in Kherkatta dam in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh last week, The Times of India newspaper reported.
Vishwas first asked local divers to jump into the reservoir to find the device, claiming it contained sensitive government data. But after the initial efforts to retrieve his smartphone failed, he asked for the reservoir to be emptied using diesel pumps.
Over the next three days, more than 2 million litres of water were pumped out from the reservoir, which is enough to irrigate at least 1,500 acres of land during India’s scorching summer, local media reported.
In videos that went viral on social media, Vishwas is seen sitting under a red umbrella as diesel pumps run to drain water from the reservoir.
Vishwas told local media the water in the reservoir was unusable for irrigation and that he had received permission from a senior official to drain it.
The smartphone was eventually retrieved but would not even start because it was waterlogged.
Authorities later suspended Vishwas after he was widely criticised for wasting water resources.