Indonesia’s capital could be moved to new location – Borneo

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The Indonesian government is studying the possibility of relocating is sinking and traffic-plagued capital to an alternative location to avoid a total infrastructural collapse of the increasingly dysfunctional 13-million-metropolis of Jakarta.

The Sydney Morning Herald in a report wrote that Indonesian President Joko Widodo asked the National Development Planning Agency to carry out a feasibility study on possible locations, citing Palangka Raya, the capital of the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, as a possible option.

Palangka Raya has been considered as new capital already in the 1950s by then-president Sukarno, the nation’s founding father, but this was rather a symbolic proposal to break with the country’s colonial past when the Dutch chose Jakarta, previously known as Batavia, as capital.

Jakarta has the problem that – like Bangkok – it is built on swamp land and is actually sinking as much as up to 20 centimeter a year, with 40 per cent of the greater area already below sea level. There are plans for the construction of a sea wall plus artificial islands in Jakarta Bay to prevent the capital from getting flooded in the long run, but the multi-billion project has been suffering from delays.

However, a wall would not resolve the problem of Jakarta’s traffic nightmare millions of commuters are exposed to every day. But moving to Borneo could also diversify Indonesia’s economy from Java where the majority of GDP is created and about 60 per cent of the population lives as relocating the capital to another island would stimulate new economic centers and better distribution of job opportunities and consumption.

Critics say that relocating the capital to Central Kalimantan would  be a difficult and expensive move because the  region’s infrastructure, both in terms of quantity and quality, is decades behind Jakarta and would have to be literally build from scratch. Palangka Raya has a population of just 250,000 people and most of its land area is covered by jungle. It is, however, the largest city by land area in Indonesia.

Others say that Kalimantan would a suitable location because it was in the middle of Indonesia, was not affected by the earthquakes that rattle Java and safe from potential enemy attack. Planned diligently in terms of impact, a move at least for public officials, the government and foreign diplomats could be feasible in the same way as Malaysia moved its administrative capital from Kuala Lumpur to Putra Jaya in 1999 because of overcrowding and congestion in the nation’s capital.

While Palangka Raya is the front runner for a new Indonesian capital, other cities have also been proposed, among them Banjamarsin in South Kalimantan, Pontianak in West Kalimantan and Palembang in South Sumatra. Other ideas are to create a new planned city Kota Merdeka in Central Kalimantan or just build a new administrative center in relative proximity to Jakarta.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Indonesian government is studying the possibility of relocating is sinking and traffic-plagued capital to an alternative location to avoid a total infrastructural collapse of the increasingly dysfunctional 13-million-metropolis of Jakarta.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Indonesian government is studying the possibility of relocating is sinking and traffic-plagued capital to an alternative location to avoid a total infrastructural collapse of the increasingly dysfunctional 13-million-metropolis of Jakarta.

The Sydney Morning Herald in a report wrote that Indonesian President Joko Widodo asked the National Development Planning Agency to carry out a feasibility study on possible locations, citing Palangka Raya, the capital of the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, as a possible option.

Palangka Raya has been considered as new capital already in the 1950s by then-president Sukarno, the nation’s founding father, but this was rather a symbolic proposal to break with the country’s colonial past when the Dutch chose Jakarta, previously known as Batavia, as capital.

Jakarta has the problem that – like Bangkok – it is built on swamp land and is actually sinking as much as up to 20 centimeter a year, with 40 per cent of the greater area already below sea level. There are plans for the construction of a sea wall plus artificial islands in Jakarta Bay to prevent the capital from getting flooded in the long run, but the multi-billion project has been suffering from delays.

However, a wall would not resolve the problem of Jakarta’s traffic nightmare millions of commuters are exposed to every day. But moving to Borneo could also diversify Indonesia’s economy from Java where the majority of GDP is created and about 60 per cent of the population lives as relocating the capital to another island would stimulate new economic centers and better distribution of job opportunities and consumption.

Critics say that relocating the capital to Central Kalimantan would  be a difficult and expensive move because the  region’s infrastructure, both in terms of quantity and quality, is decades behind Jakarta and would have to be literally build from scratch. Palangka Raya has a population of just 250,000 people and most of its land area is covered by jungle. It is, however, the largest city by land area in Indonesia.

Others say that Kalimantan would a suitable location because it was in the middle of Indonesia, was not affected by the earthquakes that rattle Java and safe from potential enemy attack. Planned diligently in terms of impact, a move at least for public officials, the government and foreign diplomats could be feasible in the same way as Malaysia moved its administrative capital from Kuala Lumpur to Putra Jaya in 1999 because of overcrowding and congestion in the nation’s capital.

While Palangka Raya is the front runner for a new Indonesian capital, other cities have also been proposed, among them Banjamarsin in South Kalimantan, Pontianak in West Kalimantan and Palembang in South Sumatra. Other ideas are to create a new planned city Kota Merdeka in Central Kalimantan or just build a new administrative center in relative proximity to Jakarta.

 

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