Indian authorities said they have been busy pumping water out of a sprawling lake in the south of the country in an effort to allay local villagers' fears that it was contaminated after the discovery of the body of a woman infected with HIV a week ago.
Afraid they would contract HIV/AIDS, villagers informed authorities they would not use it till fresh water was filled.
As Morab residents stopped using the water from the lake for drinking purposes and instead took to travelling almost three kilometres for fresh water, local authorities chose to empty the lake, Hullur said. Villagers are going to the canal, a few kilometres away, to fetch water for now, according to The Times of India. Four days later her dead body was recovered by the police from the lake.
The lake is the only source of drinking water in the area and the source of water for irrigation.
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Doctors have refuted claims that the locals risk being exposed to HIV if they consume the water.
However, Dr Prabhu Biradar, Chief Medical Officer, Hubli-Dharwad City Municipal Corporation told ANI, "After the patient with suspected HIV committed suicide, people of the village have demanded to remove water from the lake". There is no other way. "We still have to drain water from 60% of the lake and need at least five days to empty it", he said.
District authorities have made a decision to distribute water from Mallaprabha river, a tributary of the Krishna river, among villagers for the time being. The Malaprabha Right Bank Canal will be closed after December 8. "We will need 1-2 weeks to empty and fill the lake".
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