The floods that ravaged Surat has taken the city 25 years backward economically and it is likely to remain so for the next five years at least, according to industry experts who have watched the economic progress of the diamond-cutting city.
Phenomenal progress in the last two decades had established Surat as one of the foremost cities on the financial map of the country, which has been washed away in five days of devastating floods. The question being asked by experts is, will Surat regain its lost place?
Surti Lalas are banking on the indomitable Gujarati entrepreneurial spirit to help Surat bounce bank from this crisis.
"As per our estimate, the worst floods in the history of Surat has eroded the progress, the city had achieved in the last 25 years," President of Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry Pravin Nanavati said.
Economist and professor M D Desai said the city could remain in a bad patch for the next five years. "The diamond and textile industry of Surat and neighbouring Hazira's progress has not only been halted but they have also taken a severe financial setback. Entrepreneurs will hesitate before investing in the city due to its vulnerability to floods," he added.
"Development of the city will suffer a solid break due to the economic losses, degradation of living conditions of the people and psychological effects of floods. It will take a lot of time for Surat to regain its lost position," Desai said.