Surat to get a diamond city

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By Our correspondent
  • Published 16.02.15

Surat, Feb. 15: Cut or uncut, diamonds will soon have what even the most bejewelled human necks can never flaunt. A whole city exclusively to them.

Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel today laid the foundation stone for the ambitious Diamond Research and Mercantile (Dream) City and the Surat Diamond Bourse, the country's biggest diamond trading hub expected to be operational within three years.

The upcoming Dream City will be the third "smart city" in Gujarat after the Gift (Gujarat International Finance Tec) City in Gandhinagar and the proposed Dholera city near Ahmedabad, the chief minister said at the inauguration in Khajod, near Surat, where the Dream City will come up on a 2,000-acre plot.

Representatives of diamond-mining countries like South Africa, Ghana, Botswana, Canada and Russia were present at the event.

The design for the Dream City is ready and will be finalised within two weeks, said Mathur Savani, a leading diamond businessman who is part of the 33-member committee set up for implementing the project.

Urban development secretary G.R. Aloria heads the committee.

The diamond bourse is to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1.25 lakh crore.

The Dream City will primarily consist of the bourse that will house 10,000-odd offices for diamond traders from India as well as foreign countries. Facilities will be provided for the traders to sell rough diamonds and to buy polished diamonds. International-level banking and insurance services as well as import-export facilities will be made available at the bourse.

The bourse, expected to provide employment to 1.5 lakh people directly and around five lakh people indirectly, will have independent customs offices to clear consignments.

The Dream City, which will have wide roads, gardens, commercial as well as residential and educational complexes, modern hospitals, five-star hotels, restaurants and business clubs, will also house a central business district.

The project will be implemented by Dream City Company Limited, a state-government-owned special purpose vehicle formed for the project.