Pakistani Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf has announced that the initial work for the construction of the Diamer-Basha dam with a reservoir capacity of 32,374 million square metres; has begun.

The federal government has granted Rs1bn ($10m) for the acquisition of the land for the plant, of which Rs792m ($8.52m) has already been spent.

The construction is expected to be completed in seven to eight years.

The construction of the 4,500MW capacity Diamer-Basha dam project will be funded by Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Japanese Bank and USAID.

The minister also noted the acquisition of the land will continue for next two to three years, while the construction of the inner roads and the required bridges is in progress.