According to a report by the ‘Times of India’, the Surat diamond community has requested the officials of the Gujarat state government to provide an International Airport. The diamantaries believe that an international airport would facilitate export and import of rough and polished diamonds.
Surat is the worlds largest diamond cutting and polishing center. About 80% of the worlds diamonds are polished in Surat. Chandrakant Sanghavi, the regional chairman of the Gem and jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said “Surat is the power house of the glittering diamond trade in India. Despite being the world’s largest diamond manufacturing centre, the city lacks international air connectivity. It is our humble request to the central government that on the occasion of Swarnim Gujarat celebrations to provide an international airport in Surat for direct import and export of rough and polished diamonds.”
The request for the International Airport comes as the state of Gujarat celebrates its Golden Jubilee. Presently a three hour train ride is the most efficient means of transport to the diamond trading hub of Mumbai.
The Surat diamond manufacturers are also lobbying to establish a diamond trading hub in Surat to compliment the diamond manufacturing industry. The GJEPC has requested the Union Ministry of Commerce to make it a reality.
Gujarat state has 6,547 diamond processing units employing about 700,000 workers.