President Joko Widodo has planned to move the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, to East Kalimantan province in 2024. The move will be done gradually and the government will prepare the design of the new capital that reflects a smart, modern, and international city.
“We want to realise a smart, modern, and international city, making an urban design icon as the representation of a progressive, excellent country,” Minister of Public Works Basuki Hadimulyono, told reporters after giving a general lecture to 471 new graduate students at the Faculty of Engineering UGM in Grha Sabha Pramana, Universitas Gadjah Mada, on Tuesday (27/8).
Starting this year until 2020, the Ministry is preparing the spatial, buildings and environment designs as well as basic facilities to open access to the new location. Road construction will start in the middle of 2020, followed by offices and residences and the move can start by 2023. The new capital will sit on a 180,000 hectares of land.
Furthermore, the Minister ensured that the construction of the capital would not destroy the environment and they would even do reforestation of the oil palm plantation and coal mining spots surrounding the area. “The concept would be A City in The Forest. Even reforestation will be done on the Bukit Suharto forest,” he explained.
He estimated there would be around 800 thousand people who were government civil servants to be relocated to the new capital, making the total population of the city 1.5 million.
Minister Basuki said an in-depth study had been done in advance on the move, comparing the process of movement of cities like Canberra, Putrajaya and Brasilia. On building designs, he said they would discuss with the Indonesian Architects Association.
In terms of budget, the move will cost about Rp460 trillion, which is from the State Budget 19 percent, government and enterprise cooperation 54 percent, and private companies 26 percent. He added that the private companies would be involved in the form of investments.
Minister Basuki further announced the government would launch the Samarinda-Balikpapan toll roads in mid-October to support the new project. The groundbreaking of the project will start in mid-2020. “That’s our target. What’s important is the basic facilities, the access is to be built first,” he said.
Muriani Emelda Isharyani, industrial engineering doctoral student who hails from Samarinda expected the government to pay attention to flooding risks during the rainy season. In her opinion, the flood corresponds to the coal mining and oil palm plantation done around Bukit Suharto. “In terms of job opportunities, we’re happy with the move plans, but we’re concerned with flooding during the rainy season,” she said.
In response, Minister Basuki said the recent flooding in Samarinda was caused by the poor drainage. “The flooding in Samarinda was not caused by the water flows, but the poor drainage. So, for the new capital, we will design road and drainage facilities to cater for the 1.5 million population that can prevent flooding,” he concluded.