By Nayan Dave
Touted as the world’s largest office building on a single basement, Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November this year.
With construction works of its nine towers completed, landscaping and beautification work at SDB site near Khajod village has been initiated, said Vallabh Lakhani, chairman of the SDB confirming, “The Prime Minister has consented to inaugurate the project somewhere around Diwali. We are planning the grand opening of the SDB.”
The SDB project is a part of the 2,000-acre Surat Diamond Research and Mercantile City (DREAM City), being developed on the lines of the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City). It is being developed on 100-acres of land, nearly 10 km from downtown Surat.
With the emergence of SDB, the diamond industry is targeting to bring in an annual turnover of over Rs 2.5 lakh crore (more than $ 27 billion) once it would become fully operational, claimed Lakhani. On June 5th, the SDB committee is organising a ‘Maha Aarti’ by lighting 4200 lamps (diyas) to commemorate its 4200 members (diamond traders) and completion of construction work of nine towers with a ‘Ganesh Sthapana’ event to bring prosperity and fortune, he said.
“Pentagon, the USA’s Headquarters of the Department of Defense in Virginia, is at present considered as the world’s largest office building with a constructed area of nearly 65 lakh sq ft. The SDB will have an area of 66 lakh sq ft once fully developed. Constructed area of China’s biggest building CMG Head Center is around 41 lakh sq ft,” said a senior official associated with the SDB project from the beginning.
India’s second diamond trade hub after Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai, the SDB is expected to generate direct employment for 1.50 lakh people and 67000 other professionals, he said adding that buyers and sellers from nearly 175 countries will trade at SDB in coming days.
An iconic diamond shaped entrance gate of SDB’s campus is also under construction. Apart from commercial and residential spaces, SDB will also have a huge jewelry mall, luxury hotels, Golf Course, Club House, health club, restaurants as well as conference & banquet halls.
Nearly all 4200 offices have been fully sold and furniture works at these offices have been initiated, said Dinesh Navadiya, member of SDB’s Finance Committee. SDB will house more than 4200 diamond merchants in a total of nine 16-storey buildings connected with each other. Offices at SDB are designed in 300 sq ft, 500 sq ft, 1000 sq ft and 1500 sq ft spaces, said Navadiya adding that single buyers have purchased office spaces ranging from as low as 300 sq ft to as high as 1.25 lakh sq ft so far. The design of SDB manifests, a “Green Building Concept” and it will also be equipped with 400 kv solar rooftop system, he said.
Former Gujarat Chief Minister and current Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel laid the foundation stone for the DREAM City as well as SDB in February 2015. Originally the SDB project was to be operational by the end of 2020, but due to Covid-19 pandemic, it got delayed by a couple of years. The government has set up a special purpose vehicle with a 33-member committee constituted from industry and government representatives for execution of both the projects.