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Current Affairs

Indonesia’s new capital

Date: 20 January 2022 Tags: Geography & Environment

Issue

A new bill has been passed by Indonesia’s parliament to shift its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan.

 

Background

President Joko Widodo had announced the shifting of the capital few years back citing variety of environmental and social issues.

 

Details

The new capital will be named Nusantara and will be located on the Borneo Island, east of the island of Java.

 

Capital law bill

  • A special committee was formed to study the feasibility of shifting the capital. It recommended the new location as most suitable for the capital.

  • After the bill has been passed by the parliament, a presidential decree will be needed to officially change the capital from Jakarta to Nusantara.

  • The transfer of the capital to the new location will take place in first few months of 2024. The government has earmarked land for the project.

  • Nusantara will house Institutions, State, representatives of foreign countries and representatives of international organizations/institutions.

 

Future plans

  • The new capital city will be designed and managed with the objective of becoming a sustainable city in the world.

  • It would be used to showcase symbol of national identity and represent the diversity of the Indonesian nation.

  • Preparation, development, and relocation of the capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan will be state sponsored and is expected to cost $33 billion.

 

Reasons for new capital

  • The pollution and population level in Jakarta has grown beyond control. Many presidents have earlier tried to shift capital away from Jakarta.

  • Jakarta has been known for extremely high air pollution. It is one of the most polluted cities of the world.

  • The overcrowding has resulted in many parts of the city sinking below sea level. It is believed that sea level rise can submerge majority of the city.

  • Income inequality is another reason. The island of Java is more populated and rich whereas Borneo is sparsely populated.

 

Other countries changing capital

  • Brazil changed its capital city from Rio De Janerio to Brasilia. It is more centrally located and less populated.

  • In 2005, Myanmar moved its capital from Rangoon to Naypyidaw. Countries like Nigeria and Kazakhstan have shifted their capital cities.