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Two million litres of water drained from reservoir in search for phone dropped by Indian official taking selfie

More than two million litres of water were pumped from the reservoir in the search for the phone – said to contain sensitive government information – but when it was found, the waterlogged device would not switch on.

An Indian government official has been suspended after ordering a reservoir to be drained so he could find his phone. 

Food inspector Rajesh Vishwas dropped his Samsung smartphone in Kherkatta dam while taking a selfie, The Times of India newspaper reported.

Over three days, more than two million litres of water were pumped from the reservoir so he could retrieve it.

The waterlogged phone was recovered, but would not switch on.

Mr Vishwas first asked divers to search for the phone, claiming it contained sensitive government data.

When they could not find it, he asked for the reservoir to be emptied using diesel pumps.

The water emptied from the dam would be enough to irrigate at least 1,500 acres of land, local media reported.

Mr Vishwas told reporters the water was unusable for irrigation and he had received permission from a senior official to drain the reservoir.

Authorities suspended Mr Vishwas after he was widely criticised for wasting water resources.

India is one of the world’s most water-stressed countries and extreme temperatures have led to severe water scarcity, causing crop losses, forest fires and power cuts.

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