I am optimistic that the (Independence Day) ceremony in August next year will be held here,
N Penajam Paser, E Kalimantan (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has expressed the hope that Indonesia’s Independence Day in 2024 will be commemorated in the future capital (IKN), Nusantara, in North Penajam Paser district, East Kalimantan province.

"This is the area (for the development) of the presidential palace, which, God willing, I am optimistic that the (Independence Day) ceremony in August next year will be held here," he said at the IKN’s Central Government Core Area (KIPP) here on Thursday.

He said that he had spoken with the stakeholders, including the designer and executors, of the IKN development project about the completion of the palace next year and they were optimistic that the target would be achieved.

Balinese artist and designer I Nyoman Nuarta has been selected as the designer of the palace, which will be surrounded by trees and buildings arranged in the shape of a Garuda bird — Indonesia’s national symbol — with its wings spread.

"The (overall) design remains the same, but later, there will be slight adjustments in the implementation (of the palace construction)," the President said.

He did not provide details on the progress of the presidential palace’s construction.

Jokowi said that the project is being run by Indonesia's best talents.

The presidential palace will immediately be used once it is completed, he said.

Since many people, especially civil servants (ASN), will move to the IKN area, more public facilities will also be built, he informed.

“If there are more people (moving to the IKN), we need (to establish) restaurants, schools -- from kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, to universities — (as well as) hospitals, clinics, amusement areas, and malls," he added.

He said he believed that IKN will attract investors because it is offering a different atmosphere by applying a modern, smart, and environmentally friendly city concept.

The construction of the new capital city is estimated to be fully completed by 2045.

Currently, the government is also preparing 47 apartment buildings for around 16,900 ASN and military personnel at IKN.

In addition, the government is laying a 40-kilometer toll road from Balikpapan city, East Kalimantan province, to the IKN area, which is targeted to be finished by the end of 2024.

The President said that the highway will cut the travel time from Balikpapan city to KIPP to around 30 minutes.

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Translator: Desca Natalia, Uyu Liman
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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