Temperatures and Tensions Rise as India’s Water Supply Runs Low 印度缺水緊張氣氛隨氣溫升高

 

精英翻譯社轉自: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/329259/web/

 

文/Maria Abi-Habib and Hari Kum

譯/陳韋廷

 

The people of Shimla haven’t agreed on much lately. A drought in the Himalayan resort has had residents blaming farmers, the tourism industry and one another for depleting the strained water supplies.

西姆拉市居民最近共識實在不多。這個喜馬拉雅山區度假勝地出現旱情,以致居民因為吃緊的供水逐漸耗盡而怪罪農民、怪罪觀光業,也彼此怪罪。

 

And everyone’s been angry at the key men.

而所有人都對供水閥門鑰匙管理人感到憤怒。

 

Shimla’s decrepit network of water pipes, built under British colonial rule more than 70 years ago, depends on the civil servants known as key men to open and close the valves that supply each neighborhood. The current shortage, which in May left some homes without water for 20 days, has led to such fury toward the key men — accused, in just about every neighborhood, of depriving it of its fair share — that a court ordered police protection for them.

西姆拉市破舊的水管網路建於70多年前的英國殖民統治時期,仰賴被稱為鑰匙管理人的公僕開關閥門來為每個社區供水。當前的缺水導致一些家庭在五月份連續20天停水,這引起人們對鑰匙管理人的高度憤怒,幾乎每個社區都指控鑰匙管理人剝奪了自己應得的份額,弄到法院必須命令警方保護他們。

 

“I was getting angry phone calls calling me everything — stupid, worthless — at one or two in the morning,” said Inder Singh, 44, who has been a key man for 24 years. “I would be mobbed by dozens as I was trying to leave my home for work,” he said, inserting his key — a meter-long metal contraption — into the ground to open a valve.

現年44歲、做了24年鑰匙管理人的英德·辛哈說:「凌晨一兩點,我接到憤怒的電話用各種詞彙對我破口大罵,像是蠢蛋、廢物。」。這時他把一公尺長的金屬製特別鑰匙插入地面打開閥門,接著他說:「我出門上班時,會被幾十個人團團圍住。」

 

Tourism is the mainstay of the economy in this mountain city, which British colonial authorities made their summer capital so they could escape the brutal heat of New Delhi. But the drought — accompanied by unusually high temperatures, above 90 degrees Fahrenheit — has been so severe that in May, some residents took to Twitter to ask tourists to stay away and leave the water for local residents. Many in Shimla call it the worst shortage they can remember.

觀光業是這個山城的經濟支柱,而英國殖民當局曾把此城當作夏都,以逃離新德里的酷暑,但由於伴隨著華氏90度(約攝氏32度)以上異常高溫的旱情太過嚴重,部分居民五月間就推文要求遊客別來此處,把水留給當地居民使用。西姆拉許多人表示這是他們記憶中最嚴重的水荒。

 

As much as 30 percent of the city’s hotel bookings have been canceled since last month because of concerns about the water supply, said Sanjay Sood, president of northern India’s hotel and restaurant association. Some of those reservations were canceled by tourists, others by the hotels themselves.

北印度餐旅協會會長桑傑·蘇德表示,自上月以來,該市多達30%的飯店訂房因供水疑慮而取消,部分是遊客方取消,其餘則為飯店主動取消。

 

Water tankers have been lined up at hotels along Shimla’s windy mountain roads. A slogan on one of them read, “If there is water, there is a tomorrow.”

沿著西姆拉多風的山路,各飯店門前水槽車一部接著一部,其中一部上的標語寫著:「有水就有明天。」

 

A government report said that India was experiencing the worst water crisis in its history, threatening millions of lives and livelihoods. Some 600 million Indians, about half the population, face high to extreme water scarcity conditions, with about 200,000 dying every year from inadequate access to safe water, according to the report. By 2030, it said, the country’s demand for water is likely to be twice the available supply.

政府公布的一份報告指出,印度正經歷史上最嚴重的缺水危機,威脅到數百萬人的生命與生計。報告中指出,六億左右印度人(約占總人口一半)面臨高度至及極度缺水情況,每年約有20萬人因缺乏足夠的安全用水而死亡。報告中還說,到2030年,全國對水的需求量恐為供給量的兩倍。

 

In Shimla, rising annual temperatures and dwindling rain and snowfall — the city’s main water sources — have been major factors in the crisis.

在西姆拉,氣溫逐年上升以及作為主要水源的雨雪量不斷減少,是導致此次危機的主要原因。

 

“There’s global warming all over India, and Shimla is no exception,” said Vineet Chawdhry, chief secretary of the state of Himachal Pradesh, whose capital is Shimla.

喜馬偕爾省首席秘書維尼特.喬杜里說:「全球暖化現象在全印度都看得到,西姆拉也不例外」。西姆拉為該省首府。

 

 

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