– TERESINA –
From a radio programme.
This week’s programme of Facts and Opinions is about Teresina, one of the most rapidly developing cities in the southern hemisphere. Teresina was a small sleepy city of just over 500,000 people until the government discovered huge deposits of bauxite, tin and other mineral reserves in the mountainous regions of the south-east.
Within months this discovery had a tremendous effect on the city and the life of its inhabitants, who were soon having difficulty adapting themselves to the sophisticated demands of the late twentieth century.
People used to call Teresina the Garden of the. South because of its tree-lined avenues and 50 public parks.
Anyone visiting the city today will find it difficult to understand how it earned that name. Nowadays, the city is rapidly becoming a megapolis, not much different from many other great cities in the Third World. Since the discoveries in the south-east, thousands of people from all over the country have flooded into the city.
The population, according to statistics released last year, has quadrupled in the last twenty years. Over half of these people live in the shanty towns* on the hills surrounding the city or in the spreading suburbs, without electricity or a proper sewage system. But there is also incredible wealth in the city. Luxurious apartment blocks are springing up all over the city, as well as extravagant houses with swimming pools.
Nowhere can the effects of this sudden and rapid change be better seen than in the transformation of the city’s open public places. Nowadays, only five of the parks and squares survive. In their place eight-lane highways, viaducts, tunnels and complex intersections have now invaded this formerly tranquil city. And the green forests around the city that once were full of wildlife of all kinds no longer exist except where a few small clumps of trees remind us of what it used to belike.
Due to the dramatic increase in population, over 900,000 vehicles are on the streets of Teresina today. Accident rates are terrifying. The World Traffic Organisation (WTO) believes that the city has one of the highest accident records in the world!!!.
The old people of Teresina do not want to think of what has happened to their once beautiful city but prefer to remember the days when there were plenty of fish in the rivers and streams, plenty of rice in the fields, and herds of water-buffaloes that grazed peacefully around.
* Shanty towns are areas where poor people live in dwellings built from tin, cardboard, or another materia! which is not very strong.
A. What do the following refer to?
1. ‘that name’ (line 11):
2. ‘in their place’ (line 24): in the place of
B. Mark the best choice.
1. Line 7,’inhabitants’are .
a) cities where rapid development takes place
b) people who discover something
c) people living in a place regularly
d) effects that are difficult to adapt to
2. To spring up (line 20) means to .
a) release b) appear c) lack d) rent
3. A water-buffalo (line 37) .
a) is a kind of animal b) is something that old people have c) pollutes the rivers and streams d) is a kind of rice