Indian official fined $640 for draining reservoir to retrieve phone

Indian official fined $640 for draining reservoir to retrieve phone

Rajesh Vishwas allegedly gets diesel pumps to empty dam till phone is finally fished out

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI (AA) – An Indian official in the central state of Chhattisgarh was fined Rs 53,092 ($640) for allegedly draining out the entire dam to retrieve his mobile phone.

Rajesh Vishwas, a food inspector who was posted in Pakhanjore area of Kanker district, had gone to the reservoir for an outing with his friends when his mobile phone fell into waste weir of the reservoir while he was taking a selfie.

Later, he then allegedly roped in villagers and got diesel pumps to empty the dam till the phone was finally fished out.

On Tuesday, the Water Resources Department of Chhattisgarh said in a letter that Vishwas drained out water from the cistern of a waste weir without seeking permission from the competent authority after his mobile phone fell into it and announced the fine for him.

The Indian official was suspended after the incident. The department said that the act was illegal under the Chhattisgarh Irrigation Act.

Vishwas reportedly wasted around 4,104 cubic meters (4.1 million liters) of water. He was asked to pay Rs 43,092 ($520) at the rate of Rs 10.50 per cubic meter, according to the letter. Another penalty of Rs 10,000 ($120) was for evacuating water without permission. The amount has to be paid within 10 days.

Priyanka Shukla, the most senior official of Kanker district, ordered an inquiry after the incident.

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