Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel on Sunday laid foundation stone for Surat Diamond Research and Merchantile (DREAM) City, which will give the state its third smart city after Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) and Dholera City.
To house the country's second international diamond trading bourse - Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), the Surat Dream City will be spread across around 2000 acres, of which about 579 acres of land will be utilised for the modern diamond tradng hub.
"After GIFT City and Dholera City, Gujarat is now set to get its third smart city through Surat Dream City. 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," Patel said..
The project is being executed through a special purpose vehicle comprising a 33-members strong committee of industry and government representatives. According to Mathurbhai Savani, one of the members of the committee, trading in the proposed SDB will begin over the next 3-4 years.
"We wanted to make a hub for diamond trading in Surat, which is safer and more secure. Therfore we decided to make Surat Diamond Bourse here," Savani said.
Apart from the international diamond bourse, the Dream City will also house international banking and insurance facilities, world class security surveillance, dedicated custom house, freight forwarding and consolidation facilities, dedicated connecting corridors to airport and highways, integrated smart residential housing projects, entertainment and recreation facilities, hospitals and sports complex, among other things.
Being built as a smart city, the Wi-Fi enabled Surat Dream City will see basic and technological infrastructure such as committed power supply, drinking water and drainage system, smart conveyance system, SMART and intelligent systems, supportive back-up mechanisms, skill and design centres, international convention centre, international school and colleges, and five star hotels and restaurants.
To be constructed on an area of 15 million sq ft, the Surat Dream City would see an estimated cost of Rs 125,000 crore. In this, SDB will house 10,000 odd offices for the diamond traders from India as well as foreign countries.
The foundation stone laying ceremony saw members and representatives from various diamond mining and trading nations such as South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Namibia, Russia, Australia and Canada.
The industry estimates diamond exports worth Rs 1.85 lakh crore from Surat whereas rough diamond and gold imports to the city amounts to Rs 1.34 crore, thereby generating a surplus of Rs 51,000 of foreign exchange earnings for the country's exchequer, Savani added.
Further, facilities for the diamond traders from various countries to sell their rough diamonds and also to buy polished diamonds will be provided here. International level banking and insurance services as well as import export facilities will be made available at the Diamond Bourse.
The Surat Dream City will also have Central Business District CBD, featuring high rise district area with land mark buildings, office complex, exhibition complex, training schools and private as well as nationalized banks.
Apart from the twin foundation stone laying ceremonies, Patel also announced possibility of a textile university in Surat Dream City. "I have asked textile industry players to apply for land in Surat Dream City for a potential textile university. This can solve lot of their skilling issues," said Patel.