Indonesia has announced its plans to relocate its capital city away from Jakarta, one of the world’s fastest-sinking cities.
Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro announced that President Joko Widodo had made the decision to relocate the capital.
The idea of moving the capital from Jakarta which is home to 10 million people, has been discussed since Indonesia achieved it’s independence from the Dutch almost seven decades ago. However, the pace at which the island is sinking, one of the fastest rates in the world, has reportedly added incentive.
By 2050, parts of the city may be entirely submerged, with the northern part of Jakarta sinking as much as eight feet in 10 years. It is sinking an average of 1-15 centimeters annually.
With Brodjonegoro saying traffic costs the national economy the equivalent of about $6.8 billion a year, the city’s traffic congestion has been a major bone of contention.
The cabinet ministers made the decision to move the capital after discussing various other options such as creating a special zone for government offices outside current capital or moving the capital to just slightly outside of Jakarta. The president eventually decided on building a new capital on another island.
Though a new location has not yet been chosen, state media have identified Palangkarayaas as one of the frontrunners. It sits on the part of Borneo belonging to Indonesia. Palangkaraya is very close to the middle of the island chain and was the favored capital location of Sukarno, the first president of the nation.