Official Drains Reservoir to Retrieve Phone He Dropped While Taking Selfie

A government official in India has been suspended after he drained a reservoir of over two million liters of water so he could retrieve the smartphone he dropped in it while taking a selfie.

Last week, food inspector Rajesh Vishwas dropped his Samsung smartphone in Kherkatta dam in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh as he posed for a selfie.

According to a report by the Associated Press (AP), Vishwas first asked local divers to jump into the reservoir to find the smartphone device, claiming it contained sensitive government data.

However, after the initial efforts to retrieve his smartphone failed, he asked for the reservoir to be emptied using diesel pumps.

AP reports that over the next three days, more than 2 million liters of water were pumped out from the reservoir — which is supposedly enough to irrigate at least 1,500 acres of land during India‚Äôs summer.

In viral footage, that amassed over 300,000 views on social media, Vishwas is seen sitting under a red umbrella as diesel pumps run to drain astonishing amounts of water from the reservoir.

Vishwas told local media that the water in the reservoir was unusable for irrigation and that he had received permission from a senior official to drain it — neither of which was true.

Vishwas’ Samsung smartphone was eventually retrieved from the reservoir but the device would not even start because it was waterlogged.

When the truth about the incident emerged, Vishwas was widely condemned for wasting water resources and authorities later suspended him from his job.

Kanker district official Priyanka Shukla tells The National newspaper: “He has been suspended until an inquiry. Water is an essential resource and it cannot be wasted like this.”

India is one of the most water-stressed countries and extreme temperatures have led to severe water scarcity, causing crop losses, forest fires, as well as power cuts.