SURAT: Diamond City is all set to join the list of India's top 10 metropolitan cities by 2018 with household income of over Rs 800 billion in a year. On the back of robust population growth, investment activity and various government initiatives, Surat is projected to record a real GDP growth of 10.3 per cent which will be highest among the eight traditional metropolitan cities in the country. Ernst & Young (EY), a leading provider of advisory, tax, transactions and assurance services, in a report titled 'India's growth paradigm: How markets beyond metros have transformed', says the Diamond City is expected to cross Rs800 billion threshold within one to two years, and its total consumption levels will be 80 per cent that of metros like Pune and Ahmedabad. 

Municipal commissioner M Thennarasan told TOI, "Four mega projects will push Surat's GDP and investment more than that of Pune and Ahmedabad." 

DREAM City is touted as one of the biggest industrial projects in the state. It would attract an investment of more than Rs1 lakh crore. Infrastructure project of Outer Ring Road would infuse another Rs5,000 crore while investment worth Rs2,597 crore would be made under the Smart Cities Mission. The Multi Modal Transporation Hub (MMTH) project at Surat railway station would entail an investment of Rs5,000 crore. 

Expansion of Surat's airport terminal building and runway to 2,905 metre together with customs notified airport facility will go a long way in addressing the travel needs of the denizens. SMC has been spending around Rs1,800 crore per annum towards building infrastructure in the city. 

"The ease of doing business and rapid growth have made Surat much like a metro city. Surat, which has a population of around 58 lakh people, will become the main city of Gujarat by 2030," Thennarasan said.