The Jakarta Post
National Planning Minister Bambang Prodjonegoro says that the government has invited four provinces to suggest locations for a new capital to replace Jakarta, after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo revived an old plan to relocate the state capital.
The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) has invited four provincial administrations – Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and West Sulawesi – to prepare a relocation plan.
“The four provinces are deemed to meet the criteria for a new capital. We will determine the ideal location for the capital city. It is not an interregional competition,” Bambang said in Jakarta on Monday as quoted by kontan.co.id.
Meanwhile, the President flew to Kalimantan on Tuesday to follow up on plans to relocate the state capital. He is to visit the East Kalimantan provincial capital of Balikpapan and the Central Kalimantan provincial capital of Palangkaraya. The latter has been frequently mentioned as a strong candidate for the new state capital.
Bambang, who is also the Bappenas head, said cooperating with local administrations in preparing to relocate the state capital was important to assure smooth relocation in the event that a particular region was selected, particularly in terms of land availability.
“We have to know the land that is available for relocating the capital city, so that we do not need to acquire new land,” he said, adding that the new state capital should be located close to the cities that already exist in a province.
He said that after the study on relocating the capital was completed, the government would seek approval from the House of Representatives in the form of a new law.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the four provinces had declared their readiness in being the site of the new state capital.
Central Kalimantan Governor Sugianto Sabran said the administration had prepared the three regions of Palangkaraya municipality, Katingan regency and Gunung Mas regency. “We have prepared tracts of land between 300,000 and 500.000 hectares. Most of the land is forested land,” he added.
Meanwhile, South Kalimantan Governor Sahbirin Noor said the province had prepared a coastal area, which he said was a suitable location for the capital city of a maritime country.
East Kalimantan Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) head Zairin Zain said the provincial administration had prepared four locations for the new capital: the regencies of Kutai Kartanegara and North Penajam Paser, and the cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda.
West Sulawesi Governor Ali Baal Masdar said the province was a suitable location for the state capital, because it represented cities in eastern Indonesia, which was distant from the current capital in Jakarta. (bbn)