After a Chhattisgarh food inspector was suspended for his involvement in the drainage of 42 lakh litres of water from a reservoir to retrieve his expensive phone, further action has been taken by the government. The senior officer, whom the inspector claimed had given him verbal permission to drain the water up to five feet, has been held accountable. As a consequence, the senior officer has been fined ₹ 53,000 for issuing the order to drain the dam.
On May 26, the Sub Divisional Officer RK Dhivar received a letter from the Superintendent Engineer of the Indravati project inquiring as to why the cost of wasted water should not be deducted from his pay. The letter emphasised that during the summer, water is necessary in all reservoirs for irrigation and other uses.
Rajesh Vishwas, a food officer in the Koilibeda block of the Kanker district, was having fun on vacation in the Paralkot Reservoir of the Kherkatta Dam when he dropped his smartphone by accident while taking a selfie with friends. The smartphone was worth about ₹1 lakh. Locals dove in to try to find it after it fell into the stilling basin of the dam’s waste weir, which had water that was 15 feet deep. When the attempt was unsuccessful, the officer ran two powerful 30 hp diesel pumps nonstop for four days to drain 42 lakh litres of water—enough to irrigate 1,500 acres of farmland—in an effort to get his phone back.
He stated in an NDTV report that he called his SDO and requested permission to drain some of the reservoir’s water into the nearby canal. He was reportedly told that it would not be a problem if the water was drained by about three or four feet and it would be beneficial to the farmers on account of them having more water. The official had approval to drain water only up to 5 feet but much more than that was drained out.