Jokowi visits Kalimantan for prospective location of new capital city

Jokowi visits Kalimantan for prospective location of new capital city

Balikpapan, East Kalimantan (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) undertook a working visit to several cities in Kalimantan Island in search of a location for a new capital city.

The visit was made to demonstrate the government's commitment to follow up on its plan to relocate the capital city outside Java Island, Bey Machmudin, the presidential spokesman, noted here on Tuesday.

The president flew aboard presidential aircraft Indonesia-1 from the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base in East Jakarta on Tuesday at 9 a.m. local time.

After landing in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Jokowi headed to review a prospective location for a new capital city.

From East Kalimantan, he had planned to visit Central Kalimantan and stay overnight in Palangkaraya.

On the next day, Jokowi is scheduled to visit another alternative location for the country's capital city as a replacement to Jakarta.

On Monday evening, while instructing high-ranking officials at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Jokowi reiterated the government's steadfast commitment to applying its plan for relocating the capital city outside Java Island.

During the visit to Kalimantan Island, members of the presidential entourage comprised Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, and Agrarian and Spatial Minister Sofyan Djalil. The Indonesian government is contemplating on developing a new capital city outside Java Island in place of Jakarta that will mark its 492nd anniversary this year.

Jakarta is viewed as no longer being able to maintain its status as the country's capital city. The metropolitan city is highly congested, with roads merely comprising 6.2 percent of its total area, while it should preferably be at least 15 percent.

Brodjonegoro believes that Eastern Sumatra, Kalimantan Island, and Southern Sulawesi are among the preferred locations for the new capital city.

Once a decision is taken regarding a new location, the process of developing a new capital city will kick off in 2020, and its completion will take five to 10 years, he added.