Ahmedabad: Gujarat chief minister Vijaybhai Rupani on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), saying it would put the city and the state on the map of world.

This is the second time SDB’s foundation stone has been laid in less than two years. In February 2015, the then chief minister Anandiben Patel laid its foundation stone, but delays in allotment of land and other issues held up the project.

When the bourse is operational, the world will come to Surat for buying polished diamonds, the chief minister said.

SDB is a company floated by diamond barons who plan to invest Rs1.25 trillion to establish it over a period of four years, according to the SDB website.

Representatives of the company will submit a formal expression of interest to the Gujarat government regarding the proposed investment during the next Vibrant Gujarat summit, it added.

To be constructed on 36 acres of land, SDB will house more than 400 offices of world diamond traders and will create more that 150,000 jobs. It will house facilities including safe deposit vaults, a museum, custom office, money transfer desks, travel desk, retail zone, auction house and a diamond club, the state government said in a media statement.

The purpose of the project is to attract buyers from across the world to Surat to plan and execute business transactions at one place. The proposed hub will have 22 interconnected buildings of more than 20 floors and house more than 10,000 offices.

SDB is like to pose a challenge to Bharat Diamond Bourse, located in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai and spread in about 20 acres with a total constructed area of 2 million square feet and 2,500 offices of various sizes.

More than 90% of diamonds manufactured in Surat are traded in Mumbai and exported to countries across the world. SDB has over 12,000 members.

SDB is the anchor company for the Diamond Research and Mercantile (DREAM) City project to be spread in an area of about 2,000 acres on the outskirts Surat, at Khajod.

Earlier this year, the urban development and urban housing department of the Gujarat government issued a notification sub-dividing the area under Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA) and constituting the Khajod Urban Development Authority (KUDA). The powers and functions of the DREAM City Co. Ltd have been entrusted to KUDA.

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