- The Asian island nation of Indonesia is set to have a new capital in the next few years – newly built in the jungle on the island of Borneo.
- On Monday, the Minister of National Development Planning announced the new name of the city: Nusantara.
- One of the reasons that prompted the government to go ahead with the move is that Jakarta is frequently affected by floods due to its low location.
It has been known since 2019 that the capital of Indonesia will be moved from Jakarta in Java to Borneo in the next few years. The Minister of National Development Planning, citing President Joko Widodo, announced that Nusantara will be the name of the new capital.
Nusantara is an ancient name for the Malay Archipelago, which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
Parliament is expected to pass the law on the move on Tuesday, which could start construction work in the new capital. The cost of this step is estimated at more than 32 billion dollars.
The first powers are expected to move to East Kalimantan on Borneo in 2024, before the end of the second and final term of incumbent President Joko Widodo.
Flood risk as a reason for relocation
Three years ago, the president announced that a new capital would be built in the jungle of Borneo, halfway between the cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda.
The reason for this is that the coastal areas of Jakarta with a population of 11 million are regularly flooded. About 40 percent of Jakarta is below sea level. Therefore, by 2050, the entire North Jakarta region may be flooded, experts estimate.
The main reason for the city’s decline is excessive pumping of groundwater. As a result, the groundwater level decreases and the subsoil of the swamps is increasingly collapsing.
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