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It was a daily ritual. At 5.30 pm, the huge bell in front of the office at Mumbai's Sanjay Gandhi National Park would ring without fail. It indicated that the park was now closed for the day.

On Terrible Tuesday -- July 26, 2005 -- the bell never rang. It had drowned in the deluge that submerged many parts of Mumbai. The park's power supply had snapped; its taps went dry.

In the rains that lashed Mumbai, Borivali's Sanjay Gandhi National Park has emerged as one of the worst affected areas.

Many parts were flooded with over five feet of water; it entered even the offices and staff quarters. While some people tried to wade though, others climbed trees; still others had found perches on the roofs of shanties and other residential structures. A park official recounted how boats were on the road while vehicles had been tossed until they landed on their roofs.

Text: Manu A B

Photographs: Sibabrata Das

Also See: Marooned Mumbai

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