(Reuters) Haribhau Kamble, an unemployed labourer in India's richest state of Maharashtra, is forced to queue for hours in scorching heat to fetch water even as the government puts on trains to ship water to the region parched by back-to-back drought years.
Like Kamble, millions of Indians have been hung out to dry in the state with the worst drought in four decades ravaging crops, killing livestock, emptying reservoirs and slowing hydroelectric power output. Mismanagement of water resources, with powerful politicians pushing for bigger supplies to industries, have made the situation worse, experts say.
"The government says it is bringing water by train every day, but we are getting water once a week," Kamble said, after standing in line for three hours to fill two pitchers at a tap in Latur district, 500 km (300 miles) southeast of Mumbai in drought-stricken Marathwada region.
Locals had been hoping a 50-wagon daily water train would ease shortages, but they were disappointed as the 2.5 million litres carried by the train and ferried by tankers to villages was not enough to meet the needs of Latur's half a million people and Marathwada's 19 million.
Marathwada, home to many sugar mills in Maharashtra - the nation's top producer, is one of the several regions in India that received below-average June-September rains in 2015. New Delhi estimates that overall 330 million people - a quarter of the country's population - are currently affected by drought.
本文第二段片語「be hung out to dry」意指某人無奈地面對與承擔他人造成的困境或困難。