Recently, a woman reportedly infected with had allegedly committed suicide by jumping into a lake in Dharwad district. Despite his efforts, the determined villagers found the necessary equipment and proceeded with their plan to drain all the water from the 36-acre lake. But the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) spreads only through body fluids and outside the human body, the virus can not survive beyond minutes in air or water.
Afraid they would contract HIV/AIDS if they used its water, villagers at Morab, about 30 km from Hubballi, 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 made a decision to empty the lake, Hullur said. Water is being pumped out of the lake for the last four days.
Locals used to draw water from the lake. In spite of the district administration trying to convince the villagers that the waters are safe, nobody is ready to listen.
The lake is the only source of drinking water in the area and the source of water for irrigation. "When an HIV-positive person dies, the virus also dies", Dr Glory Alexander, founder-director of an organisation that treats people suffering from the virus, told The Times of India.
District authorities have chose to distribute water from Mallaprabha river, a tributary of the Krishna river, among villagers for the time being. "We managed to drain out lakhs of litres, and discharged the water in a nearby stream. It was decomposed, bloated. villagers decided not to use the water until fresh water was filled in the lake", panchayat development officer (PDO) B Nagaraja Kumar said. There is another problem, though.
Navalgund tahsildar Naveen Hullur said "I will talk to officials to allow us to fill the lake from Malaprabha canal till December 20 or 22".
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