Govt official, who drained reservoir to search for Galaxy S23 Ultra, asked to pay water bill plus fine

  • A food inspector in Chhattisgarh accidentally dropped his Galaxy S23 Ultra in a water reservoir.
  • To recover the phone he ended pumping out 41 lakhs litres of water from the reservoir.
  • He has been ordered to pay for draining the water out. 

In a bizarre incident that took place in Chhattisgarh, a government employee drained lakhs of litres of water from a dam to recover his phone that fell inside the dam. The smartphone in question is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra which is one of the most expensive phones available in India. 

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The incident reportedly involves 32-year-old food inspector Rajesh Vishwas who is posted in Pakhanjore area of Kanker district in Chhattisgarh. Vishwas was out on a picnic with his friends at the Paralkot reservoir which is next to Paralkot dam. He was trying to take a selfie with his Galaxy S23 which he accidentally dropped in the reservoir. He wasn’t giving up though as he went up to the Irrigation Department for help to get his phone out. 

To do so, he hired two diesel pumps that cost Rs 7,500 each to drain water out from the reservoir. It was initially reported that around 21 lakh litres of water was pumped out but a detailed investigation revealed that it was actually around 41 lakh litres. “I employed a pump after local divers could not find the phone till Tuesday and told me that the water level needed to be reduced by a few feet for the same,” Vishwas was quoted as saying by The Hindu. 

Vishwas has been asked to pay Rs 43,092 for the water along with a fine of Rs 10,000. The total amounts to Rs 53,092 and he has given 10 days to pay back. A show-cause notice was also sent to the sub-divisional officer (SDO) of water resources department, RC Dhivar who is believed to have given permission to drain the water. Dhivar has been ordered to file a reply on why he did not seek permission from senior officials, and also questioned why the money to recover the drained water shouldn’t be deducted from his salary.