Indian Officials Forced to Drain Lake After HIV-Positive Woman Drowns In It

The Times of India recently reported that officials were forced to drain a 36-acre lake after an HIV-positive woman committed suicide by drowning herself in the lake.

The residents of Morab, around 30km from Hubballi, have refused to drink water from their village lake after an HIV-positive woman committed suicide by jumping into it a week ago. Unable to convince them, the authorities are now draining the water from the 36-acre lake — roughly the size of 25 football fields — which they hope to refill with water from the Malaprabha canal. The Morab lake is the biggest in Navalgund taluk and the only source of drinking water for villagers and cattle. As of now, villagers trek 2-3km to the Malaprabha canal to fetch water.

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The body of the woman was found in the lake on November 29. Word immediately spread the water had been contaminated, creating panic. Villagers refused to drink the water and pressured the gram panchayat and the Navalgund taluk administration to drain the lake. Authorities tried to convince the villagers that the water was not contaminated and that they would test the water, but no one relented. The authorities have now deployed 20 siphon tubes with four motors to pump out the water.

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