WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Due to research that confirmed that parts of Jakarta will be completely covered by water by 2050, Indonesia president Joko Widodo announced that the country’s capital will be transferred to another location.
- Other factors that played major roles in influencing the decision included overcrowding and heavy traffic jams.
- Of the three alternatives presented by Bappenas, Indonesia’s development planning agency, one that suggests total relocation to the outside of the island of Java was the most favored to address the ‘sinking’ problem.
President Joko Widodo of Indonesia announced the decision to relocate Jakarta, the country’s capital, to another location outside the main island of Java because the mega-city is sinking into the sea, according to BBC News.
The country’s planning minister Bambang Brodjonegoro told the news outlet that the crucial decision comes in light of research findings that said parts of Jakarta will be totally submerged in the coming decades.
Heri Andreas, a researcher at the Bandung Institute of Technology who studies Jakarta’s land subsidence told BBC News that based on their models, about 95% of North Jakarta will be submerged by 2050.
Similarly, the New York Times reported in 2017 that although the surrounding Java Sea is fast rising due to climate change, it’s not happening quite as rapidly as the land is subsiding.
In addition, moving the capital was also significantly influenced by other factors such as overcrowding and traffic congestion which the city is currently facing.
Despite the country’s leaders’ many attempts to initiate the relocation of the capital after the country gained its independence from the Dutch in 1945, BBC News reports that it remains unknown when and where to move the capital.
During a cabinet meeting on April 29, a preliminary relocation study was presented by Widodo to the National Development Planning Agency, also called Bappenas, which provided three alternatives to the Jakarta location.
The first alternative is the creation of a special government center that will surround Jakarta’s Presidential Palace and the National Monument for the purpose of improving efficiency. The second suggested transferring the capital 31 to 43 miles (50 to 70 kilometers) off Jakarta. While the third, which Widodo preferred, would involve total relocation of the capital outside Java Island.
The third option will not only tackle the sinking and overcrowding issues, but it will likely help generate economic opportunities beyond the city of more than 10 million.
“The capital relocation must serve the strategic vision of our long-term development agenda. We want a capital that will represent the nation’s identity, improve the efficiency of the central government and establish a smart, green and beautiful city,” said Bappenas head Bambang Brodjonegoro in a press conference.
The Post reported that Palangkaraya, located in central Kalimantan on Indonesia’s part of Borneo, is the top candidate for the third alternative.
Source: Live Science