Surat: Gujarat chief minister, Anandiben Patel on Sunday laid foundation stone for Diamond Research and Mercantile (DREAM) City to be spread over an area of about 2,000 acres in Khajod area situated on the outskirts of the city. Diamond city Surat will house Gujarat’s third smart city after GIFT City, near Gandhinagar, and Dholera, near Ahmedabad taking forward the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept of building 100 smart cities in the country.
The DREAM City will mainly house an international diamond trading hub, the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), to be spread over 579 acres. The twin ground breaking ceremonies of the two projects took place on Sunday at Khajod here.
“Currently, we have about 42 per cent urbanization in the State. By 2030, the level of urbanization 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 here. “After GIFT City and Dholera, Gujarat will have the third smart city – DREAM city in Surat,” she added.
The proposed city will have modern urban amenities and smart internet-based civic operations. Surat, which makes 90 per cent of the world’s diamonds, has large presence of diamond processors and traders. The SDB is planned to be constructed on an area of 15 million square feet, at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,25,000 crore. It will house around 10,000 offices for the diamond traders from India as well as foreign countries.
Representatives from diamond mining and trading nations South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, 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. Therefore, we decided to make Surat Diamond Bourse here,” said Mathurbhai Savani, a Padmashri from the city and leading diamond trader.
Diamond exports from Surat is estimated at Rs. 1,85,000 crore, while rough diamond and gold imports to Surat is around Rs. 1,34,000 crore, thereby providing about Rs. 51,000 crore worth of forex earnings for the country. After the commissioning, SDB will generate additional business worth Rs. 90,000 crore annually.
International level banking and insurance services as well as import-export facilities will be made available at the Diamond Bourse.
Additionally, the ambitious Dream City will have 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 nationalized banks.