International

Indonesia picks Borneo island as site of new capital

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Indonesia’s capital city is to be relocated to the province of East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, President Joko Widodo has said.

The current capital, Jakarta, home to more than 10 million people, sits on swampy land.

Parts of the city are sinking by as much as 25cm (10in) a year and almost half now sits below sea level.

No name was given for the capital’s planned replacement.

The new city will straddle two relatively undeveloped regions, Kutai Kertanegara and Penajam Paser Utara.

The ambitious project will cost 466tn rupiah ($32.79bn; £26.73bn) but Jakarta traffic snarl-ups alone cost the economy 100tn rupiah a year, the planning minister says.

There has also been a huge programme to decentralise government for the last two decades in a bid to give greater political power and financial resources to municipalities.

Most of the country’s wealth is concentrated in Jakarta and many Indonesians living outside Java – the island Jakarta sits on – have long complained about being forgotten.

BBC

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