Following Wednesday’s bomb blast at Opera House, diamond merchants at the trading hub have decided to shift to the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).
For a long time, diamond merchants were undecided on moving to BKC as several traders felt the newly built bourse would be inadequate to house all of them and also complained of waterlogging in the premises.
However, the grave attack on the diamond hub compelled them to change their stand. At a meeting of diamond traders on Thursday afternoon, the decision to shift to BKC within six months was finalised. There are around 500 traders at Opera House of which six had shifted to the new complex earlier.
“It is clear that terrorists are keen on attacking the financial hub and especially traders, so we decided that all diamond merchants would shift to BKC,” said a senior member of the Diamond Merchant Association.
“We are aware that it is not possible to provide an impenetrable defence against similar attacks in the future. Therefore, moving to BKC would be a safer option. But we want some protection to be offered to diamond traders by the time we move there,” said Sanjay Kothari, chairman, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
Navin Mehta, a diamond trader and owner of D Navinchandra & Co said, “Some merchants were initially sceptical of moving to BKC, but we are vulnerable in the current setting. Security concerns weigh more than other concerns traders have against the new complex.”
The Bharat Diamond Bourse, a complex comprising seven buildings, was constructed at a cost of Rs900 crore. It boasts of better security, as – unlike Opera House – only authorised persons are allowed inside the premises.
Several diamond merchants said there were serious security lapses at Opera House. “Visitors often disregarded parking rules and threatened security guards. There is no firm way of stopping unauthorised visitors too,” said a diamond merchant who has an office in the Pancharatna Building.