In a shocking incident of negligence and misuse of power, a government employee in Chhattisgarh allegedly drained out a staggering 41 lakh litres of water from a weir after his mobile phone fell into it. The incident, which occurred at the Paralkot reservoir in the state’s Kanker district, came to light on Friday, leading to the immediate suspension of the employee.
The employee, identified as Rajesh Vishwas, works as a food inspector in the Pakhanjore area of the district. On May 21, he visited the reservoir for a leisure outing with his friends. While attempting to take a selfie near the waste weir, a channel designed to carry away excess water, Vishwas accidentally dropped his mobile phone into the structure, sparking a chain of events that would lead to the massive waste of water.
According to officials, Vishwas enlisted the help of local villagers and arranged for diesel pumps to drain the water from the weir in order to retrieve his phone. This process continued until Thursday, when the mobile phone was finally recovered. However, the quantity of water wasted during the operation was nothing short of colossal. Upon discovering the incident, Kanker Collector Priyanka Shukla demanded a detailed report and subsequently suspended Rajesh Vishwas for his actions. Additionally, a show-cause notice was issued to the sub-divisional officer (SDO) of the water resources department, RC Dhivar, for allegedly providing verbal permission for the water drainage.
The report submitted by the sub-divisional magistrate of Pakhanjore revealed that a staggering 4,104 cubic metres, equivalent to 41 lakh litres, of water had been emptied from the weir without proper authorization. The suspension order issued to Vishwas cited the misuse of his position and the unacceptable waste of water during the scorching summer season as grounds for his immediate suspension.
The show-cause notice served to SDO Dhivar emphasised that granting verbal permission for water release without consulting senior officials constituted misconduct. Dhivar has been given one day to respond to the notice and has been warned of disciplinary action if he fails to do so.