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Indonesia will move its capital from overcrowded and polluted Jakarta to Borneo

Indonesia’s president has said the country’s capital will move from overcrowded and polluted Jakarta to a site on the remote Borneo island.

President Joko Widodo said intense studies over the past three years had resulted in the change to the sparsely populated East Kalimantan province.

The new capital city, which has not yet been named, will be in the middle of the vast archipelago nation and already has relatively complete infrastructure because it is near the cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda, Widodo said.

Indonesia’s president has said the country’s capital will move from overcrowded and polluted Jakarta to a site on the remote Borneo island. Pictured: Residents living along a narrow duct that typically runs through slums with tin shacks crowding around the water’s edge, where residents have been dumping trash for decades

President Joko Widodo said intense studies over the past three years had resulted in the change to the sparsely populated East Kalimantan province (pictured)

President Joko Widodo said intense studies over the past three years had resulted in the change to the sparsely populated East Kalimantan province (pictured)

He said the burden has become too heavy on Jakarta on Java island as the centre of government, finance, business, trade and services as well as the location of the country’s largest airport and seaport.

Widodo said the decision was made not to move the capital elsewhere on Java because the country’s wealth and people are highly concentrated there and should be spread out.

Currently 54 per cent of the country’s nearly 270million people live on Java, the country’s most densely populated area.

Widodo (pictured today) said the decision was made not to move the capital elsewhere on Java because the country's wealth and people are highly concentrated there and should be spread out

Widodo (pictured today) said the decision was made not to move the capital elsewhere on Java because the country’s wealth and people are highly concentrated there and should be spread out

Widodo said at a news conference in Jakarta's presidential palace (pictured today): 'We couldn't continue to allow the burden on Jakarta and Java island to increase in terms of population density'

Widodo said at a news conference in Jakarta’s presidential palace (pictured today): ‘We couldn’t continue to allow the burden on Jakarta and Java island to increase in terms of population density’

Indonesia's founding father and first president, Sukarno, once planned to relocate the country's capital to Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan province (pictured, the island)

Indonesia’s founding father and first president, Sukarno, once planned to relocate the country’s capital to Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan province (pictured, the island)

Widodo said at a news conference in Jakarta’s presidential palace: ‘We couldn’t continue to allow the burden on Jakarta and Java island to increase in terms of population density.

‘Economic disparities between Java and elsewhere would also increase.’

In an interview last month, Widodo said he wants to separate the centre of government from the country’s business and economic centre in Jakarta. 

In an interview last month, Widodo said he wants to separate the centre of government from the country's business and economic centre in Jakarta (pictured)

In an interview last month, Widodo said he wants to separate the centre of government from the country’s business and economic centre in Jakarta (pictured)

Jakarta is an archetypical Asian mega-city, with 10million people, or 30million including those in its greater metropolitan area. 

It is prone to earthquakes and flooding and is rapidly sinking due to uncontrolled extraction of ground water. 

The liquid is highly contaminated as are its rivers.

Congestion is estimated to cost the economy $6.5billion a year.

Jakarta (pictured) is an archetypical Asian mega-city, with 10million people, or 30million including those in its greater metropolitan area

Jakarta (pictured) is an archetypical Asian mega-city, with 10million people, or 30million including those in its greater metropolitan area

Mineral-rich East Kalimantan (pictured) was once almost completely covered by rainforests, but illegal logging has removed many of its original growth

Mineral-rich East Kalimantan (pictured) was once almost completely covered by rainforests, but illegal logging has removed many of its original growth

Mineral-rich East Kalimantan was once almost completely covered by rainforests, but illegal logging has removed many of its original growth.

It is home to only 3.5million people and is surrounded by Kutai National Park, known for orangutans and other primates and mammals.

Widodo said the relocation of the capital to a 444,780-acre site will take up a decade and cost as much as 466trillion rupiah ($26.5billion), of which 19 per cent will come from the state budget and the rest will be funded by cooperation between the government and business entities and by direct investment by state-run companies and the private sector.

East Kalimantan (pictured) is home to only 3.5million people and is surrounded by Kutai National Park, known for orangutans and other primates and mammals

East Kalimantan (pictured) is home to only 3.5million people and is surrounded by Kutai National Park, known for orangutans and other primates and mammals

He said the studies determined the best site is between two districts, North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara, an area that has minimal risk of disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires, volcanic eruptions or landslides in the seismically active nation.

Indonesia’s founding father and first president, Sukarno, once planned to relocate the country’s capital to Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan province.

Infrastructure improvement has been Widodo’s signature policy and helped him win a second term in April elections.

Decades of discussions about building a new capital on Borneo island - to change from Jakarta (pictured) - moved forward in April when Widodo approved a general relocation plan

Decades of discussions about building a new capital on Borneo island – to change from Jakarta (pictured) – moved forward in April when Widodo approved a general relocation plan

Decades of discussions about building a new capital on Borneo island moved forward in April when Widodo approved a general relocation plan.

He appealed for support for the move in an annual national address on the eve of Indonesia’s independence day on August 16.

He said on Monday his government is still drafting a law on the new capital which will need to be approved by Parliament.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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