Indian official pumps water out of entire dam to get Samsung phone which fell during selfie

An Indian government official has been suspended by his superiors for pumping out water from a whole dam to retrieve his Samsung phone which fell into the reservoir while he was taking a selfie.

The Kherkatta reservoir in Chhattisgarh, India

According to the BBC, Rajesh Vishwas, the food inspector dropped his Samsung phone, worth about $1,200 (100,000 rupees), into Kherkatta Dam, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, on Sunday.

He claimed that the handset contained sensitive government data, hence the outlandish decision to drain the entire dam to retrieve it at all costs.

At the time he hired the services of a diesel pump operator to pump out an estimated two million litres (440,000 gallons) of water – reportedly enough to irrigate 6 sq km (600 hectares) of farmland, he claimed to have sought the permission of a superior officer who gave him the green light.


However, Rajesh’s action triggered angry reactions, which got the attention of the water resource department. An official from the agency arrived on the scene and ordered a cessation of the draining exercise.

Chhattisgarh State opposition BJP party’s national vice-president who was unhappy about the development took to Twitter to condemn Rajesh’s action which is considered an abuse of power.

“When people are depending upon tankers for water facility in scorching summers, the officer has drained 41 lakh litres which could have been used for irrigation purpose for 1,500 acres of land,” the politician wrote.

Meanwhile, Priyanka Shukla, a Kanker district official, told The National newspaper that Rajesh has been suspended and is facing an enquiry.

“He has been suspended until an inquiry. Water is an essential resource and it cannot be wasted like this.”


The disgruntled official has denied deliberately wasting abusing his power and wasting water, saying the portion of the dam that he emptied was not in usable condition.


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