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Diamond city Surat will house Gujarat’s third smart city after GIFT City, near Gandhinagar and Dholera.
Taking forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept of building 100 smart cities in the country, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Sunday laid the foundation stone for Diamond Research and Mercantile (DREAM) City, to be spread on an area of about 2,000 acres on the outskirts of the city.
The DREAM City will mainly house an international diamond trading hub, Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), to be spread on 579 acres of land. The twin ground-breaking ceremonies of the two projects took place on Sunday at Khajod here.
“Currently, we have about 42 per cent urbanisation in the State. By 2030, the level of urbanisation in the State is projected to be around 60 per cent. Considering the pace of growth, we require cities with advanced town planning,” said Patel at the foundation stone laying ceremony.
Surat, which makes 90 per cent of the world’s diamonds, has a large presence of diamond processors and traders.
The SDB is planned to be constructed on an area of 15 million square feet, at the estimated cost of ₹1,25,000 crore. It will house around 10,000 offices for the diamond traders from India and abroad.
Representatives from diamond mining and trading nations South Africa, Botswana, Lisoto, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Namibia, Russia, Australia and Canada were present at the foundation stone-laying ceremony.
SDB is expected to be operational in the next 3-4 years.
“We wanted to make a hub for diamond trading in Surat, which is safer and more secure,” said Mathurbhai Savani, a Padmashri from the city and leading diamond trader.
Diamond exports from Surat is estimated at ₹1,85,000 crore, while rough diamond and gold imports to Surat is around ₹1,34,000 crore, thereby providing about ₹51,000 crore worth of forex earnings. After the commissioning, SDB will generate additional business worth ₹90,000 crore annually.
International level banking and insurance services, as well as import-export facilities, will be made available at the Diamond Bourse.
The Dream City will have a Central Business District (CBD) that will not only consist of Diamond Bourse but also high rise district area with land mark buildings, office complex, exhibition complex, training schools and private as well as nationalised banks.