The long-discussed plan to move Indonesia’s capital away from Jakarta is getting more real by the month. Following President Joko Widodo’s confirmation last month that he planned to place the new capital somewhere in Kalimantan (which is comprised of the Indonesian portion of Borneo Island) and his formal request to Parliament last week, today a minister further narrowed down the new capital’s potential location by specifying that it would be located in the province of East Kalimantan.
The news was delivered today by Minister of Agriculture and Land Planning Sofyan Djalil while he was attending a meeting an economic coordination meeting today.
“Yes, East Kalimantan is correct, but we do not yet know the specific location where,” he said as quoted by Detik.
Previous reports had suggested that one of the most likely locations for the new capital city would be Kutai Kartanegara in East Kalimantan.
Sofyan said that an area of 3,000 hectares would be prepared for the first phase of the new capital’s development, including essential government and legislative buildings. He said the city would eventually cover a total area of around 200,000-300,000 hectares.
“So that we can make it a beautiful garden city with a lot of parks so that people there can live healthily and have clean air. We hope that it will be an attractive city to live in,” Sofyan added.
For comparison, the city of Jakarta covers just under 70,000 hectares while the Greater Jakarta Area, which includes major satellite cities Tangerang, Bekasi, Depok, and Bogor, covers over 400,000 hectares.
According to the government’s ambitious proposed timetable, construction on the new capital will begin in 2021 and the transfer of functions will take place from 2023-2024.
In order to transfer government and legislative functions to the new capital, officials estimate that around one million civil servants will also need to make the move from Jakarta.