Laser cutting and polishing of diamonds is becoming big business for Surat

The diamond cutting and polishing sector has turned Surat, Gujarat, India, into the most laser technology-dense city in the country, as it has the largest number of laser cutting machines.

The diamond cutting and polishing sector has turned Surat, Gujarat, India, into the most laser technology-dense city in the country, as it has the largest number of laser cutting machines. Also, around 1000 machines are sold in the sector every year.

Surat has 15,000 laser cutting machines in the diamond sector and the demand is growing at a rapid pace, even as more industries are busy upgrading themselves.

Arvind Patel, managing director of Sahajanand Technology, says that only 5 percent of diamond cutting and polishing units have installed laser cutting machines, despite Surat being a laser-dense city.

"This is primarily because diamond units are slow in adopting the latest technology. Surat has over 4000 diamond cutting and polishing units (small, big, and medium) and there is still scope left for laser cutting machines," says Govind Dholakia, a diamond businessman.

Dinesh Navadia, president of the Surat Diamond Association (SDA), says that upgradation has been slow as diamond units get very little financial help from state and central governments. If a proper scheme is launched (similar to TUFS in the textile sector), then the entire sector would be benefited.

"Although small polishing units want to upgrade to laser cutting technology, they get little financial help from the state and central governments. SDA and GJEPC (Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council) are trying to help these units adopt the latest technology," Navadia adds.

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