Plans for moving Indonesia’s capital to Borneo placed on hold

The Jakarta Post has reported that Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) chief Suharso Monoarfa has confirmed that all construction activity for the capital relocation plan has been suspended whilst the Indonesian government focuses on recovering their economy from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Planned construction of new government offices and a state palace have been suspended along with upgrades to transport infrastructure. Ground-breaking may now be delayed until at least 2022. He has, however, said that some planning work for the project may continue. Specifically, the planning includes improvements to infrastructures of the cities which would neighbour the new capital, namely; East Kalimantan’s provincial capital, Samarinda, and the port city of Balikpapan.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (left) has been prioritising the project as large parts of the city of Jakarta continues to sink, which has led to massive flooding problems. He has allocated 466 trillion rupiah (US$31 billion) to the project, which the Indonesian Finance Ministry has said would cover 19% of the cost with the rest coming from PPPs and private investments.

The new capital is being planned to be built in the North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara regencies of East Kalimantan, which is the Indonesian section of the island of Borneo.

Jakarta is sinking! (Video by: BBC, June 2019)

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