Indonesian president checks areas nominated as new capital city in Kalimantan Island

May 8, 2019

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JAKARTA : Indonesian President Joko Widodo checked on Tuesday the areas nominated as the nation's new capital city in Kalimantan Island following his decision to relocate the capital city from Jakarta.

The areas checked by the president are Balikpapan and Palangkaraya, the capitals of East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan provinces, Media and Protocol Deputy at Presidential Secretariat office Bey Macmuddin said.

He said that Balikpapan was the first area visited by the president. "After that the president would continue to Central Kalimantan province and stay overnight there," Bey said in a statement.

Widodo reaffirmed the capital relocation plan on Monday night in a fast-breaking event with his ministers and senior political figures in presidential palace.

"We have been seriously discussing the capital relocation plan in the last three years. Since one and half years ago, we had ordered development planning ministry to undergo more detailed studies on impacts of capital relocation in economy, social, politics and environment sectors," the president said in the event.

President Widodo has opted to relocate the capital city to a place outside the densely-populated Java for population distribution concerns.

The president said that three areas have been identified capable to host the nation's new capital city so far.

"Those places have an area of 80,000 hectares, 120,000 hectares and 300,000 hectares each. We are yet to make any definite decision on the area that we would pick," he said.

According to the results of studies carried out by the development planning ministry, some 466 trillion rupiah (about 32.6 billion U.S. dollars) of fund is required to finance construction of new capital city in each 40,000 hectares of area.

The idea to move Indonesia's capital city has been running since the government of the first President Soekarno who wanted to make Palangkaraya as Indonesian capital due to its central position in Indonesia's territory.  Enditem (Xinhua)