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Indonesia picks location of new capital on Borneo

August 26, 2019

Indonesia's president has provided fresh details on the location and cost of a new capital on Borneo. The capital Jakarta is overcrowded and sinking.

Image: DetikCom/M.ridho suhandi

President Joko Widodo on Monday announced further details about Indonesia's plans to move its capital from overpopulated Jakarta to Borneo Island.

The new capital would be located in Borneo's East Kalimantan province between Samarinda City and the port city of Balikpapan.

Read more: Jakarta: Saving a sinking megacity 

"It is a strategic location at the center of Indonesia, close to a growing urban area," Widodo told a news conference.

Widodo said the relocation would cost $33 billion (€29.7 billion) and start in 2024.

The move is to be funded by the state, public-private partnerships and private investment.

Karte Indonesien Samarinda Balikpapan EN

The president earlier this month proposed moving the capital to East Kalimantan but officials had not mentioned an exact location.

Jakarta has a population of 10 million and three times that number including nearby areas. It is located on Java Island, a commercial center that accounts for 58% of Indonesia's gross domestic product and is home to about half of nation's 260 million population.

Jakarta is prone to floods and is sinking due to the overuse of groundwater. Java is also susceptible to volcanos and tsunamis.

Environmental groups have criticized plans to move the capital out of concern for Borneo's vast forests and endangered wildlife.

Widodo said he would soon submit a draft bill to parliament to approve the relocation.

Indonesia: The sinking capital

cw/rc (dpa, Reuters)

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