New Capital of Indonesia

The President of Indonesia has stated that the country’s capital will move from overcrowded, sinking and polluted Jakarta to a site in sparsely populated East Kalimantan province on Borneo island, known for rainforests and orangutans. The choice of location was based on the intense studies undertaken over the past three years.

The new capital city, which is yet to be named is in the middle of the vast archipelago nation and already has a relatively complete infrastructure because of its presence near the cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda.

Why the decision to shift the capital?

  • The burden on Jakarta on Java has become too heavy as the centre of government, finance, business, trade and services as well as the location of the country’s largest airport and seaport.
  • Jakarta is vulnerable to sea-level rise and is currently sinking by up to 6.7 inches per year.
  • Jakarta is prone to natural disasters like floods. A flood killed around 80 people in Jakarta in 2007 an estimated 70,000 homes. Nearly 50 people died after heavy rains caused a local dike to collapse in 2013.
  • Jakarta also suffers from intense traffic congestion and dangerously high levels of pollution.
  • 54% of Indonesia’s nearly 270 million people live on Java and it is the country’s most densely populated area.

Hence Indonesia has announced to relocate its capital and has zeroed in on the new location in East Kalimantan which is a province on the island of Borneo. Indonesia shares Borneo Island with two other nations: Malaysia and Brunei.

This plan has caused concern about environmental degradation as it could endanger Borneo’s remaining forests and raise carbon emissions.

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