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An official in India sparked a tempest of controversy after turning to extreme measures to retrieve his lost smartphone. Food inspector Rajesh Vishwas, who recently lost his pricey Samsung device to the depths of Kherkatta Dam in Chhattisgarh, India, ordered the entire reservoir to be drained. His justification? The phone reportedly contained sensitive government data.

Source: NDTV/Youtube

Vishwas initially enlisted the help of local divers to scour the submerged realm of the dam. However, after their efforts proved futile, he escalated the situation by bringing in a diesel pump to drain the dam’s water. Vishwas asserts that he had verbal consent to displace “some water into a nearby canal” – a move he believed would even benefit local farmers.

Over a span of three days, the pumps went to work, emptying a staggering 440,000 gallons of water – a volume sufficient to irrigate almost 1500 acres of farmland.

The saga came to a less than triumphant close as the phone was finally discovered, but by then, it was beyond function. The incident surfaced when a water resource official acted upon a complaint, leading to Vishwas’s suspension from his government role.

While Vishwas insists he did not misuse his power, explaining the water drained was in the dam’s “overflow” section and not fit for use, the event has triggered an uproar amongst Indian politicians. Critics highlighted the incongruity of such actions amidst scorching summers and water shortages, pointing out the lost water could have irrigated a substantial area of land.

If you’ve been following this story, join the conversation on our website. Let’s talk about the responsible use of resources and how we can avoid situations like this. And remember, no phone – no matter how expensive or important – is worth endangering our most precious resource: water.

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