World

Indonesia president proposes to move capital to Borneo

16 August 2019 - 72   - 0

Indonesia’s president on Friday proposed to move the capital from Jakarta, a crowded, polluted city of 10 million people, to the island of Borneo, though he left Indonesians guessing as to the exact location.

President Joko Widodo suggested a new capital in Kalimantan, on the Indonesian side of the island shared with Malaysia and Brunei, in a speech to parliament, a day before the country’s independence day holiday.

“I hereby request your permission to move our national capital to Kalimantan,” said Widodo, who will be sworn in for a second term in October after winning an election in April.

“A capital city is not just a symbol of national identity, but also a representation of the progress of the nation. This is for the realization of economic equality and justice,” he added.

He did not give the exact site of the new city in a region known for rain forests, coal mines, orangutans and home to just over 16 million people.

Widodo toured Kalimantan in May to survey potential sites and last month tweeted a shortlist of three provinces: Central, East and South Kalimantan.

The new capital should tick several boxes, officials say.

It must be in the center of Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands that stretches some 5,000 km (3,000 miles) from its western to eastern tips.

The risk of natural disasters should also be lower than other parts of Indonesia often hit by earthquakes, floods and volcanoes.

Jakarta is one of the world’s most densely populated cities, home to more than 10 million people and three times that number when counting those who live in surrounding towns.

The city is prone to floods and sinking due to subsidence, caused by millions of residents using up groundwater and leaving rock and sediment to pancake on top of each other.

Moving the capital to a safer, less congested location would cost up to $33 billion, according to planning minister Bambang Brodjonegoro.

The price tag includes new government offices and homes for about 1.5 million civil servants expected to pack up and start moving in 2024.

(REUTERS)

  Comments - 0

  • Leave a comment



Top Stories

Sri Lanka receives Dutch assistance amounting to Rs 14.1 billion worth projects

Netherlands on Thursday, agreed to provide Sri Lanka a loan and two grants amounting to Rs 14.1 billion for the construction of 200 rural bridges a...

16 October 2019 - Views : 7

Case against Basil postponed until Nov 7

16 October 2019

Prez Poll: Record number of candidates reflects abuse of democratic system

16 October 2019

Sunlight brand to bring communities together

16 October 2019

Features & Analysis

English Lit Societies of Ladies and STC present LitCon

The English Literary Societies of Ladies' College and S.Thomas' College Mt.Lavinia proudly present LitCon ...

Dog Walk and Carnival by Rotaract Club of Colombo Central

In keeping with the aims of Community Service in Rotaract, the Rotaract Club of Colombo Central has organized a &ldqu...

In Pictures: Pro World Surf League

The So Sri Lanka Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 event which concluded recently played host t...

Lal Wickrematunge bids adieu

Australia is an important ally of Sri Lanka and diplomatic relations between the two countries date back to 1947. Sri...