Indonesia to relocate capital from sinking Jakarta

Indonesia to relocate capital from sinking Jakarta
© Getty Images

Indonesia has announced plans relocate its capital city away from Jakarta, one of the world’s fastest-sinking cities, according to the BBC.

Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro announced President Joko Widodo had made the decision to relocate the capital, according to the news outlet.


The idea of moving the capital from Jakarta, home to 10 million people, has been discussed since Indonesia achieved independence from the Dutch over seven decades ago, but the pace at which the island is sinking — one of the fastest rates in the world — has reportedly added incentive.

Parts of the city may be entirely submerged by 2050, with the northern part of Jakarta sinking eight feet in 10 years and sinking an average of 1-15 centimeters annually, according to the BBC.

The city’s traffic congestion has also been a major bone of contention, with Brodjonegoro saying traffic costs the national economy the equivalent of about $6.8 billion a year.

Cabinet ministers made the decision to move the capital after discussing other options such as creating a special zone for government offices outside the current capital or moving the capital to just outside of Jakarta. Eventually, the president decided on building a new capital on another island, according to the BBC.

While a new location has not yet been chosen, state media have identified Palangkaraya, which sits on the part of Borneo belonging to Indonesia, as one of the front-runners, according to the BBC. Palangkaraya is geographically close to the middle of the island chain and was the favored capital location of Sukarno, the nation’s first president.