“The government has conducted in-depth studies in the past three years and as a result of those studies, the new capital will be built in part of North Penajam Paser regency and part of Kutai Kertanegara regency in East Kalimantan,” Widodo told media.
Widodo said the government will present a bill to the House of Representatives, which, if approved, could see construction of the capital start as early as next year, with the plan to move some of its 1.5 million civil servants to the new bureaucratic centre by 2024, The Guardian reported.
The burden on Jakarta as the centre of governance, business, finance, trade and services, is “too heavy”, Widodo said.
The city suffers from severe subsidence, with 40 percent of it now under sea level and air quality has fallen dramatically, which is easy to understand given that 60% of the country’s population and more than half of its economic activity is housed in the city.
Kalimantan, on the other hand, is almost four times bigger, but accounts for less than a tenth of the gross domestic production.
Despite promises from the government that it will not disturb any existing protected forest to build the new capital and will instead “rehabilitate it”, the move has raised concerns from environmentalists concerned for the habitats of orang-utans.
Subscription successful! Thank you for subscribing.