Residents of the village of Morab, near Dharwad, are now facing the prospect of having to walk several kilometres per day to get drinking water after they made a decision to drain all the water from a nearby lake.
Indian authorities have been pumping water out of a huge lake in Morab village in southern India after locals expressed fears of contamination following the discovery of the body of a woman infected with HIV.
The lake near the village of Morab in Karnataka, about 440 km (273 miles) from the state's capital of Bengaluru, covers 32 acres (13 hectares). People in the village knew that she was HIV positive. Four days ago we recovered her body.
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.
Ever since the body surfaced, no one turned up to fetch water, Kumar said, adding that the villagers unanimously chose to empty the lake.
Soon after learning about the incident, district panchayat chief executive officer Dr B Satheesha rushed to the spot and tried to convince villagers that HIV never spread the way they thought.
Water from the sprawling lake will be pumped out on Wednesday night or the following morning, after which it will be cleaned and then filled with water from Malaprabha canal by December 20.
District authorities have made a decision to distribute water from Mallaprabha river, a tributary of the Krishna river, among villagers for the time being. "Due to the fear of infection, the villagers don't want to use the water, and are releasing it", he said.
According to a health official, the woman who died in the lake had tested positive for HIV in October, but it was yet to be confirmed by a government centre.