Indonesia to transfer capital to Borneo from Jakarta

JAKARTA – The Indonesian Parliament has approved a bill to relocate the nation’s capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan province in Borneo island, an official said on Tuesday.

“The new capital city has a central function and is a symbol of national identity, as well as a new economic center,” Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa said in Parliament after the bill was passed.

Monoarfa said the new capital will be named Nusantara, a Javanese name for the Indonesian archipelago chosen by Indonesian President Joko Widodo. The planned area of the new capital is 256,142.74 hectares according to the new law.

The Indonesian Parliament has allocated 489 trillion rupiah (USD34 billion) to the relocation project to be effected before  the country’s 2024 presidential election.

Jakarta is one of the world’s most densely populated cities, home to more than 10 million people. The city is prone to floods and is sinking due to subsidence, caused by millions of residents using groundwater.

On Aug. 17, 1945, Jakarta became the de facto capital city of the Republic of Indonesia after the country declared its independence from its Dutch colonizers. (Anadolu)