Indonesia has announced plans to build a new capital city, as its current capital Jakarta faces pollution problems, traffic gridlock and is sinking fast.
The country’s planning minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said that President Joko Widodo had chosen to relocate the capital out of its main island, Java. The island sits on the western edge of Indonesia, and is the most populous island with over 140 million people.
The new location has not yet been revealed, but the planning minister said his government is looking for a location on the eastern side of Indonesia. State media reports that one of the frontrunners considered is Palangkaraya, on the island of Borneo.
The idea to move the capital out of Jakarta has been around for decades, though previous leaders have been unable to accomplish the ambitious plan. Jakarta is home to over 10 million people, and is sinking at one of the fastest rates in the world.
The city’s massive amount of traffic is also costly. According to the BBC, the planning minister has estimated traffic jams in Jakarta cost the economy some US$6.8 billion annually.