RAJKOT: The entire diamond industry of Saurashtra was in a state of mourning over the blasts in Mumbai on Wednesday. The industry was aggrieved as one of the victims in the serial blasts was diamond trader Bhupat Navadia (45), a native of Umarda village in Gandhda taluka of Bhavnagar. His last rites were performed at Umarda village on Friday in the presence of hundreds of people.
Navadia had an office on the the first floor of Prasad Chamber and lived on Mira Road in Mumbai. He was was on his way to meet his friends when the blast at Opera House left him dead. The deceased's body was brought to his native village for the final rites.
The serial blasts in Mumbai has shaken the diamond traders in Bhavnagar. They have demanded that they be given security. Saurashtra's diamond industry is worth Rs 900 crore and provides employment to over 3 lakh people in the diamond cutting and polishing business, said traders, adding that major diamond units are located in Bhavnagar and Amreli districts.
"There are about 2,200 diamond polishing units in Bhavnagar district. They provide employment to around 2 lakh people. We have been demanding more security at our trading centres. We also want the state government to bring the import and export business to Gujarat from Mumbai," president of Bhavnagar Diamond Association Vithal Mendapara said.
"Surat and Saurashtra have an immense potential for diamond import and export business," he added.
"The diamond business provides a sustainable livelihood to even families of farmers. There is a great future for diamond industry in Saurashtra. The state government should create an atmosphere of security so as to help the industry flourish," president of Amreli Diamond Association Lalit Thummar said.
Thummar said there are 1,450 diamond polishing units in Amreli district. They provide employment to over 60,000 people in the district.
Jul 15 2011 : Times of India.