A study to relocate Indonesia’s capital city is more than 90 per cent completed, said Minister for National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro on Tuesday (Jun 18).
He was quoted as saying by news site Tempo that the recommendations in the study would be delivered to President Joko Widodo, before the government makes an announcement at the end of this year.
“The main points (of the study) are location, the planning of its size, and the business models to develop (the new capital city),” Mr Brodjonegoro said after meeting with the House of Representatives’ Finance Commission.
During the meeting with the Finance Commission, the minister was questioned on the government’s insistence on relocating the capital. Mr Brodjonegoro replied that one main reason is the high population density in Java Island, where more than half of the entire nation resides.
He also noted that Kalimantan has the least potential for natural disasters compared to other parts of the country.
According to the Tempo report, three places have been flagged as strong candidates for the new capital: Soeharto Hill, Nyuling Hill and the Palangkaraya Triangle.
The minister said that the government is still deliberating on the location. “We are doing this very carefully,” he said.
In April, the Widodo administration announced that it would move the capital outside Java.
The current capital, Jakarta, is home to more than 10 million people, but around three times that many people live in the surrounding towns, adding to the area’s severe congestion.
At that time, Mr Brodjonegoro put the annual economic loss due to traffic congestion in Jakarta at 100 trillion rupiah (US$7.04 billion).
The low-lying capital is also prone to flooding and is sinking due to over-extraction of groundwater.
Mr Brodjonegoro has not provided an estimate of how much it will cost to relocate the capital but said that the president has ordered the finance ministry to come up with a scheme to allow private investment.
The government is aiming for the new capital to be ready by 2024, he said.