Following the incident, the villagers pressed the district administration to drain the 36-acre lake.
"Three days after her disappearance on November 29, her body surfaced". Ever since the body surfaced, no one turned up to fetch water, Kumar said, adding that the villagers unanimously chose to empty the lake. Lakshmana, a Moraba gram panchayat member, said to News 18, "Since the time villagers came to know that the deceased was infected with HIV, they have been afraid and refused to drink or use the water from this lake".
The only option left for the officials is to fill the lake once more from the waters of the Malaprabha Right Bank Canal. Morab Lake is the biggest in the Navalgund Taluk in north Karnataka and the only source of drinking water. The reports claimed that she had been suffering from HIV and that possibly could be the reason why she committed suicide. After draining the lake, it will be thoroughly cleaned before filling it with fresh water from Malaprabha canal by December 20.
"We tried to tell the people that HIV spreads only in four ways - through unprotected sex, unsafe blood transfusion, unsterilised syringes and from mother to child - and that the virus needs blood to survive, but the people were not convinced", the official said.
According to the New Indian Express, Dr Spoorthi Havaldar, the village doctor, in an attempt to dispel villagers' concerns, said that the lake water could be used following chlorination treatment. "The villagers themselves took the initiative by providing pipes and other equipment required to pump out water from the lake", Bidralli said. Authorities tried to convince the villagers that the water was not contaminated and that they would test the water, but no one relented. They have decided, and they refill it with water and only then use it for consumption. "The authorities must drain out water and fill it with fresh water to save the lives of villagers". There is another problem, the taluk administration wants us to finish the task by December 6 as the Malaprabha right canal will be closed after December 8, and we have to fill the lake.