One doesn’t need absolute power, even a sense of power is enough to corrupt and make officials and politicians high-handed. The draining of millions of gallons of water from a dam for a lost mobile phone is just another example. The water wasted without thought was meant to irrigate parched fields in Chhattisgarh.
For the unversed, a food inspector in Chhattisgarh has been suspended after he allegedly drained Paralkot reservoir to find his mobile phone.
The inspector, Rajesh Vishwas, had gone to the reservoir with friends on May 21, 2023, when he accidentally dropped his phone into the water. Vishwas then allegedly contacted the irrigation department and asked them to drain the reservoir so he could find his phone – a Samsung Galaxy S23 costing upwards of ₹1 lakh.
Stating that he had bought the phone just two months ago and was extremely upset since he dropped it into the reservoir.
Vishwas, who decided not to give up, took matters into his own hands and used two 30 hp diesel pumps. For three days, these pumps ran continuously, removing an incredible 21 lakh litres of water from the reservoir. To put this figure in context, it is enough to irrigate 1,500 acres of agriculture. It’s worth mentioning that the area has a water level of more than 10 feet, even in the summer, when it’s a useful resource for both humans and animals.
After receiving a complaint, an officer from the Irrigation and Water Resource Department arrived on the scene to investigate the unauthorised draining of the reservoir. The operation was quickly stopped, but by then, water level had decreased by six feet. Approximately 21 lakh litres of water had been drained out in vain.
Vishwas explained his actions by claiming that his phone had official departmental data that needed to be retrieved.
Rajesh Vishwas is among the netas and babus who have used the state machinery and government resources for personal use.
It isn’t a first. We have seen athletes being sent home early so that a pet dog of a senior bureaucrat can be walked on the running tracks of a stadium. Police teams have been formed to track stolen jackfruit and missing buffaloes.