He dropped phone while clicking selfie, water was meant for farmers.
In a shocking incident that highlights the potential abuse of power, a food inspector in Chhattisgarh has been suspended after allegedly draining millions of gallons of water from a reservoir in a futile attempt to find his lost mobile phone. The incident has sparked outrage and raised concerns about the misuse of resources by officials and politicians.
The inspector, Rajesh Vishwas, accompanied by friends, visited the Paralkot reservoir on May 21, 2023. Tragically, Vishwas accidentally dropped his recently purchased Samsung Galaxy S23, valued at over ₹1 lakh, into the reservoir. Overwhelmed by the loss, he contacted the irrigation department and demanded that the reservoir be drained to facilitate the recovery of his phone.
Claiming that the lost device contained crucial official departmental data that needed to be retrieved, Vishwas took matters into his own hands. Without authorization or considering the repercussions of his actions, he employed two powerful 30 hp diesel pumps to drain the reservoir continuously for three days. Shockingly, a staggering 21 lakh liters of water were pumped out, which is equivalent to the amount needed to irrigate 1,500 acres of parched agricultural land in the region.
It is important to note that the area where the reservoir is located suffers from water scarcity, and the reservoir’s water level typically remains above 10 feet even during the dry summer months. The water serves as a valuable resource for both human consumption and supporting local wildlife.
However, Vishwas’s misuse of power did not go unnoticed. After receiving a complaint, an officer from the Irrigation and Water Resource Department promptly arrived at the scene to investigate the unauthorized draining of the reservoir. By the time the operation was halted, the water level had plummeted by six feet, causing significant damage. Approximately 21 lakh liters of water had been recklessly wasted in the fruitless search for the inspector’s mobile phone.
This incident involving Rajesh Vishwas underscores a growing trend of officials and politicians exploiting the state machinery and government resources for personal gain. Similar incidents, including athletes being forced to leave stadiums early to accommodate the walks of senior bureaucrats’ pet dogs, or police teams being deployed to locate stolen jackfruit and missing buffaloes, have raised concerns among the public.
The suspension of Rajesh Vishwas serves as a reminder of the corrupting influence that even a perceived sense of power can have on individuals in positions of authority. It emphasizes the need for strict regulations and ethical guidelines to prevent such abuse in the future and ensure that public resources are utilized for the benefit of the community at large.