Indonesia eyes moving capital from congested Jakarta

Voters mark their ballots at a polling centre during elections in Jakarta Indonesia

Voters mark their ballots at a polling centre during elections in Jakarta Indonesia

Brodjonegoro, however, said eastern Indonesia is favored.

Indonesia's president has chose to relocate the capital away from the island of Java to promote more equitable development, officials announced Monday.

Brodjonegoro noted that the Bappenas had suggested three options on relocating the capital city, with the first being to not change the capital city of Jakarta though relocating the government offices around the Presidential Palace and the National Monument (Monas) areas.

Ideas to move the capital have always been circulated by previous governments, but Widodo's marks the first formal decision to relocate it off Indonesia's most populous island, Jakarta.

National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro pointed out that the new capital will most likely be in an area that will encourage economic growth in far-flung regions of Indonesia.

Prone to flooding and rapidly sinking due to uncontrolled ground water extraction, Jakarta is the archetypical Asian mega-city creaking under the weight of its dysfunction.

The central business district skyline is seen during the dusk on Monday in Jakarta, Indonesia. Professor of Global Urban Politics at the University of Melbourne Michele Acuto said Jokowi's plan will most likely take around 10 years to be completed.

He maintains that the plan never came to fruition since it has never been treated as an official plan despite many other countries moving their capital cities to anticipate the development of their country.

The site for a possible new capital has not been announced, but Palangkaraya on the island of Borneo has often been rumored as the location. Congestion is estimated to cost the economy $US6.5 billion a year.

"Jakarta is hardly able to successfully accomplish two tasks, being the country's political and financial center", the president said.

Widodo said the move would address crowding problems in the city and on the island, as well as help spread development in the country.

"We want to think in a visionary way for the progress of this country and moving the capital requires thorough and detailed preparation", Widodo said of the proposed move on Monday.

Latest News