Indonesia to relocate its capital to Nusantara

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Indonesia has decided to relocate its capital from Jakarta to Nusantara, a site situated deep within the jungle of Kalimantan on the island of Borneo after a bill was passed in the Indonesian Parliament earlier this week. 

Sri Mulyani, the Indonesian Minister of Finance, on Tuesday said that the new capital will go through five stages of development, the process for which will begin in 2022 itself. The estimated cost for this new project will be around 466 trillion rupiahs which are equivalent to $32 billion. 

The capital will be moved to the mineral-rich Eastern Kalimantan, a province on Borneo island. The name ‘Nusantara’ means archipelago in Javanese. The new capital will be based on North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara. The name was selected by the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo from a list of 80 names. Suharso Monoarfa, the minister for national development planning said that this name reflects as it is known to reflect the geography of Indonesia and it is iconic international.

Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital right now will continue to remain the country’s commercial and financial center, the administrative functions of the government will be relocated to East Kalimantan which is located about 2000 km northeast of Jakarta. The land area allocated to the new capital is estimated to be around 2561 square kilometers, most of it will be converted from the forest area as per the official data updated by the National Planning and Development Agency.

There are several factors that have led to the relocation of the capital. According to the President of Indonesia, several in-depth studies in the past three years have resulted in the decision the relocation of the capital from Jakarta to Nusantara. Reports have stated that the capital city, Jakarta is home to around 10 million people is estimated to sink in the next thirty years. Jakarta sits on swampy land, is prone to flooding, and is considered one of the fastest sinking cities on Earth as per the reports by the World Economic Forum. The main cause of the problem is said to be the overuse of groundwater by the residents through home drilling as per research. 

About 95 percent of the city is estimated to sink by the year 2050 according to Heri Andreas, who has been studying the subsidence of Jakarta’s land for the last 20 years. The city is facing other environmental threats including the decline of air quality over the past few months and overpopulation in the urban areas. Kalimantan, where the new capital will be located is 4 times bigger. The decision will hopefully resolve the environmental concerns the nation is facing. 

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