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Monday, June 7, 2010

Edition 21: This Place Is Dam Famous!


Anybody who has heard of Pune must hear about the Khadakwasla also. Even though Khadakwasla is actually a village, it is mainly known for the dam which is situated 30 kms from Pune. Another famous destination associated with the name is National Defence Academy.

This dam provides one of the main sources of water for the city of Pune. It is closely linked to Varasgaon and Panshet dams. Just in the vicinity of the dam is the well known National Defence Academy and Central Water & Power Research Station (CWPRS). As one goes straight from the side of the dam, there stands the historic Sinhagad Fort.

In 1961, the Khadakwasla Dam had to be blown, as the Panshet Dam overflowed, causing devastating floods in the city of Pune. The dam was later rebuilt. The original dam, built in the 1879 as a masonry gravity dam was the first of its kind in the world. None other than Mokshgundam Vishwaisarayya designed the original dam.

At weekends and during the monsoon season, this dam is turned into a picninc spot as everybody wanting to give the city chores a bye comes here to chill out. Scenic places around the dam include Peacock Bay, Kudje village, and Neelkanteshwar, located near Bahuli village just past Kudje. There is a chowpatty offering food and non-alcoholic drinks. Pune Municipal Corporation is planning to build a well designed and specific chowpatty here.
Another claim to fame for Khadakwasla dam is that it is a popular spot for courting couples from Pune. In 2006, the locals in the area protested against indecent behaviour of couples near the chowpatty and drinking. Since then police have maintained a constant presence in the area to prevent any indecent behavior.

Khadakwasla dams was built in in 1879 for the purpose of water supply and irrigation to the drought prone areas in Pune district. The dam is constructed on river Mutha, downstream of the confluence of Ambi and Mose with Mutha.

The Failure
Khadkawasla dam was constructed as a masonry gravity dam, founded on hard rock. It had a height of 31.25 m above the river bed, with a 8.37 m depth of foundation. Its crest length was 1.471 m and had a free board of 2.74 m.
The failure of the dam occurred because of the breach that developed in Panshet Dam, upstream of the Khadkawasla reservoir. The upstream dam released a tremendous volume of water into the downstream reservoir at a time when the Khadkawasla reservoir was already full, with the gates discharging at near full capacity. This caused overtopping of the dam because inflow was much above the design flood. Vibration of the structure was reported, as the incoming flood was battering the dam. Failure occurred within four hours of the visiting flood waters.

Even after the failure, the dam has come to become as a landmark of the city and is one of those places which add luster

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