Jokowi says Bukit Soeharto suitable place for capital city of Indonesia

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (third left), along with other officials, looks at a map when he visits Bukit Soeharto in Kutai Kartanegara regency, East Kalimantan on May 7. Bukit Soeharto is one of several areas being considered as locations for a new capital city. (Antara/Agus Salim)

JAKARTA, May 8, 2019, The Jakarta Post. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said that Bukit Soeharto (Soeharto Hill) in East Kalimantan is a suitable place for a new capital city, particularly because it would have the adequate infrastructure required by a capital city, reported The Jakarta Post.

Jokowi on Tuesday visited Bukit Soeharto in Hutan Raya Park, Samboja district, Kutai Kartanegara regency as part of his effort to realize the old plan to relocate the capital city from Jakarta after he revised the plan in a recent Cabinet meeting.

Bukit Soeharto is a 61,850-hectare forest in the province’s Panajam Paser Utara regency. The location can be reached by road in about one and a half hours from Samarinda and 45 minutes from Balikpapan, the two largest cities in the province.

“Here, I see that everything is supportive,” the President said as quoted by He said the infrastructure in the surrounding area would support it becoming a new capital city.

Bukit Soeharo is at about the middle-point of the Samarinda-Balikpapan toll road. Both cities also have airports. The existence of the infrastructure could save money for the capital city development, but Jokowi said there were still other factors to be considered in addition to infrastructure before the decision was made.

“We need to have a comprehensive socio-political study,” the President said, adding that the government would also consider areas that are not disaster-prone for a new capital city.

The idea to relocate the capital had been in place since the era of founding president Sukarno when he mentioned that Palangkaraya, the Central Kalimantan provincial capital, could be the national capital.

Previously, National Planning Minister Bambang Prodjonegoro said the government had invited leaders of four provinces — Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and West Sulawesi — to suggest locations for a new capital in their respective jurisdictions.

President Jokowi also planned to visit Central Kalimantan on Wednesday.

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