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Published in the 16-28 Feb 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Thousands pray for rain in Hyderabad

The Milli Gazette Online

Hyderabad: Thousand of Muslims gathered at a dry riverbed here on Jan 31 praying for rains as the city's main water reservoirs, lifeline to its six million people, turn dry. 

Officials warn that Hyderabad will face grave water shortages during the approaching summer, if there is no rain in coming weeks. Locals say the situation is worse than a drought and have now sought divine intervention. Authorities are offering free bus rides to all those willing to join the massive ceremony near Himayat Sagar, one of the four reservoirs that supply water to the ancient city. 

"God listened to us and there were rains in the past. Despite this, there is a heavy shortage of water and people are suffering. We are holding this mass prayer so that God listens to us and there is rainfall," said Mohammad Faridudinn, the state's minister for minorities.

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