Balikpapan, E Kalimantan (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) commenced his work visit to East Kalimantan to officially inaugurate the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road section Samboja-Samarinda spanning 58.47km and visit the future capital city in North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara.

President Jokowi boarded the Indonesia-1 Presidential jet and landed at the Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Sepinggan International Airport at around 9:50 a.m. Western Indonesia Time on Tuesday.

East Kalimantan Governor Isran Noord, along with several local officials, greeted the president upon his arrival. President Jokowi was accompanied by his cabinet ministers, including Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Erick Thohir, Minister of National Development Planning/Chief of the National Development Planning Agency Suharso Monoarfa, Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.

President Jokowi is first scheduled to meet with community, religious, and cultural figures.

The head of state is then scheduled to head to the Samboja toll road gate to inaugurate the Samboja-Samarinda section of the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road.

Construction of the toll road began in November 2016 and will help to reduce the travel time between Balikpapan and Samarinda, from three hours to an hour. The road is planned to be extended to the center of the new capital city in East Kalimantan.

The head of state will later visit the location of the new capital city in the concession area of PT International Timber Corporation in Indonesia (ITCI), Sepaku Sub-district, North Penajam Paser District.

At the location of the new capital city, the government has prepared land spanning 180 thousand hectares. In addition to the national capital area, the land is allocated for various supporting facilities, including the green area. For ministries and state institutions, four to six thousand hectares of land is required. The first phase of development covers a core area spanning four thousand hectares of land.

Minister for National Development Planning/Head of the National Development Planning Agency Suharso Manoarfa remarked that the new capital city will be an autonomous province, with a total area of 256 thousand hectares.

Of the total area, 56 thousand hectares will become the capital city, managed by city managers, who are not part of the autonomous region. A government area will span 5,600 hectares.

The new capital city is designed in accordance with the smart city concept. At least three clusters in the new capital city are government, education, and technology. A tourism cluster can still be included in future. Related news: RI President slated to inaugurate Samarinda-Balikpapan toll road
Related news: New capital construction to start in 2021: Pandjaitan


Translator: Desca Lidya Natalia/Aria Cindy
Editor: Suharto
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