Panshet and Khadakwasla

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Banyan trees at the Khadakwasla Dam

The two dams Panshet and Khadakwasla in the Indian state of Maharashtra became famous in 1961 through a dam disaster .

The Khadakwasla Project

The Khadakwasla project consists of three reservoirs, namely Panshet (or Panshet Hill or Tanaji Sagar dam ) 18 ° 23 '  N , 73 ° 36'  O

Map: India

the river Ambi, Khadakwasla ( 18 ° 26 '  N , 73 ° 46'  O ) on the river Mutha, and Warasgaon (Veer Pasalkar dam) on the river Moses. Panshet and Warasgaon are used for hydropower generation and irrigation, while the Khadakwasla Dam further down is used for irrigation and water supply (drinking and industrial water), especially for the city of Pune .

Khadakwasla lies below the confluence of the Ambi in the Mutha (which flows over the Mula-Mutha into the Bhima ); that is, the water from the Panshet Dam flows into the Khadakwasla Reservoir. The Khadakwasla Dam is located about 20 km southwest of Pune, which is 192 km (by rail) and 160 km (by road) from Mumbai (Bombay) at 559 m asl.

Panshet dam

The dams

The Panshet Dam, built about 50 km southwest of Pune at the end of the 1950s, is a 50 m high (the figures vary between 49, 50, 51 and 54 m) earth dam with a dam volume of 2.7 million m³ and a storage volume of 212 Million m³. The Khadakwasla dam, built in 1867 (or 1879?), Is an approx. 40 m high (the figures vary between 33, 40 or 42 m) rock embankment dam with a storage volume of 137 million m³.

The catastrophe

On July 12, 1961 , the Panshet Dam broke due to structural failure of the structure during the first flood event. The bottom outlet was damaged by cavitation and collapsed. The earth dam was then washed away. The resulting tidal wave reached the fully filled Khadakwasla reservoir, which was flooded 3 m, so that it also broke as a result of the flooding (a so-called cascade rupture ). The tsunami destroyed large parts of Pune's old town, killing 1,000 to 2,000 people.


The dams were rebuilt and still supply Pune with water today. Today they are also used for recreational purposes. There are various attractions such as Peacock Bay, the village of Kudje, and Neelkanteshwar by the village of Bahuli.

There is also a Panchet Dam in eastern India on the Damodar River .

See also


  • F. Lemperiere: Dams that Have Failed by Flooding. An Analysis of 70 Failures, Water Power and Dam Construction, October 1993.

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