This Asian country is changing its capital- all you need to know

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 26 August 2019, 01:54 PM
The Kutai Kartanegara bridge of Tenggarong town, East Kalimantan (Wikipedia)
The Kutai Kartanegara bridge of Tenggarong town, East Kalimantan (Wikipedia)

Indonesia will build a new capital city on the island of Borneo, home to some of the world’s biggest coal reserves and orangutan habitats, as President Joko Widodo seeks to ease pressure on congested and sinking Jakarta.

Jokowi, as the president is commonly known, said that the new administrative headquarters will be located between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara in East Kalimantan.

Where is the new capital

It is in a forested area owned by the government, so there will be no difficulties acquiring privately owned land. Earthquakes, flooding and volcanic eruptions are less common. It is one of the three sites that the government had earlier said it was considering near Balikpapan and Samarinda, the province's two largest cities, which are a two-hour flight from Jakarta.

The relocation of the capital, some 1,400 kilometers away from Jakarta, will help spread economic activity outside the nation’s most-populous island of Java, the president said. 

How will the change take place

Parliament will have to pass a law as the legal basis to realise the President's plan for the shift, which will be very costly.

While it has been periodically discussed for decades, Jokowi has displayed an urgency not shown by his predecessors in pressing on with the capital relocation plan. 

Why the change

The greater Jakarta area is home to about 3 crore people nearing is suffering a lot of urban problems such as gridlock and high pollution levels. The pressure Java island is ever increasing as it is now home to 15 crore people, or 54 per cent of the population.

First Published: Monday, August 26, 2019 01:50 PM

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