Officer Pumped Out Water For 3 Days After His Phone Fell Into Reservoir
NEW DELHI: In a bizarre incident in Chhattisgarh, a government official was suspended for allegedly draining 21 lakh liters of water from a reservoir to retrieve his expensive phone. He immediately clarified, however, that the water was “unusable” and that he had obtained prior verbal permission from the local subdivisional officer. The District Collector suspended him for misusing his position and not seeking permission from the concerned officer.
Rajesh Vishwas, a food officer in Koilibeda block of Kanker district, was enjoying a vacation at the Kherkatta dam when he accidentally dropped his smartphone worth ₹ 1 lakh in the 15-feet deep overflow area. It is. After efforts to extract the body failed, the officer ran two 30hp diesel pumps continuously for three days, pumping out 21 lakh liters of water, enough to irrigate 1,500 acres of farmland, to retrieve his phone.
It is said that these pumps started discharging water on Monday evening and continued till Thursday. An Irrigation and Water Resources Department official reached the spot on the complaint. However, up to a depth of six feet, i.e. about 21 lakh liters of water has already been pumped out. The area has water more than 10 feet deep even in summers, and animals often drink from it.
Rajesh Viswas said the phone slipped from his hand while taking a selfie and had to return it as the device contained official departmental data. Divers tried to find it but could not because the surface was rocky, he said, adding that an official from the water resources department said the water was not being used for anything, so there was little drainage in it.
“On my day off on Sunday I went to the dam with some friends to take a bath. My phone slipped in the overflowing tankers and its water was unusable. It was 10 feet deep. Locals tried to locate it but failed. They said that if the water is less than two or three feet, they can definitely find it. I called up the SDO and asked him to allow some water to be released in the nearby canal if there is no problem in doing so. He said no. Water draining 3-4 feet deep is a problem and the farmers who have more water will benefit. That’s why I took help from the locals. I got my phone back after wading through three feet of water,” said Mr Viswas.
A water resource official later told local reporters that he had given verbal permission to release up to five feet of water, but much more was taken.
The phone stopped working after three days in deep water.
Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and BJP leader Raman Singh slammed the Bhupesh Bagel-led Congress government, saying officials under the “dictatorial” state government were treating the region as their hereditary property.
People rely on water tankers in the sweltering heat, and one official pumps out 21 lakh liters of water, he said.
When questioned by reporters, state cabinet minister Amarjeet Bhagat said he was not aware of the incident. I will definitely take note of this incident and take appropriate action as per the facts, he said.