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After years of delay, the diamond market is all set to operate from Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in the Bandra-Kurla Complex. The inauguration of the bourse, considered to be the largest of its kind in the world, is scheduled for October 17.

Anoop Mehta, president of BDB said, "The complex is designed to house around 2,500 small and large diamond traders, in addition to the customs department, banks and other service providers who cater to the gems and jewellery trade."

The complex has a trading hall of 6,300 sq ft. An area of 12,000 sq ft has been allotted for the customs department. As of now, 2,400 offices have been allotted to diamond exporters and trading companies. The size of these offices varies from a minimum of 150 sq feet to a maximum of 25,000 sq feet. Besides, safe deposit vaults are provided within the premises, which enable the traders to deposit their belongings and use them whenever there is a requirement .

The bourse is expected to become fully operational by the end of this year as the traders will take a few months to move from existing market in Panchratna building at Opera House, south Mumbai. "When fully operational, the bourse is expected to have an inflow of nearly 20,000 to 27,000 people daily. BDB has a parking place for 2,200 cars at any given time,`` he said.

About security arrangements, Mehta added, "Around 2,500 cameras have been installed in the BDB , which is spread across 20 acres and houses 8 towers . Only people with valid ID cards will be allowed to enter the building premises . A control room with 256 monitors has been set up to keep a watch on any suspicious movement. The complex also houses the facility of a fire station manned by trained servicemen."

The total cost incurred on setting up this bourse is estimated to be Rs 1,100 crore, including the price of the land that stood at Rs 250 crore. The work on the BDB project kicked off in 1991 but had come to a standstill in 1998 before again picking up steam in 2002. The land was leased to BDB by the MMRDA in 1984.

"State-of-the-art infrastructure in the bourse has the potential to make India the international diamond trading hub. We feel 10-15% can be achieved with an average growth annually over a period of the next five years. The opening of this bourse will also encourage entrepreneurs from Israel and Belgium to trade here," Mehta said. The building has been made keeping in mind sustainable development and eco-friendly concepts like sewage treatment plant as well as water purifier. . "The entire landscape area will be irrigated using recycled water," he added.


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