Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, has become a megalopolis. With its approximately 10 million populations, Jakarta grows narrower thanks to new housing and great urbanization. In addition, high economic growth gives birth to new problems such as traffic jam and flood – from people living at the riversides. Another problem is that the development is overly focused on Java Island.
In response to this, Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a limited meeting on Monday (29/4) had decided to seriously relocate the nation’s capital due to the increasing density of Jakarta. President Joko Widodo views that the study of capital relocation does not include sociology and socio-politic aspects only. As a great nation, the President added that Indonesia wants to have separated seat of government from centres of economy, business, and trade.
Previously, Minister of National Development Planning, Bambang Brodjonegoro said that President Joko Widodo would decide to relocate Indonesian capital outside Java Island. He further explained that the National Development Planning Agency had concluded three criteria of the capital relocation. First, it stays in Jakarta with building special block for government around National Monument. Second, it moves to outside Jakarta with radius around 60 kilometres. Third, it goes away from Java Island. The capital city must be strategic and as far as possible from natural disaster threats.
Meanwhile, in the limited forum on capital relocation, Dean of Gadjah Mada University Technical Faculty, Nizam said that the capital candidate must be in region with high heterogeneity to minimize social and cultural conflict potential. It also must consider migration effect, since it can create marginalization of local people and social conflict.
Capital city relocation plan had been initiated by first President of Indonesia, Soekarno who named Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan as the new capital in 1957. Soekarno saw Palangkaraya because it is located at the middle of Indonesia. However, it remained as an idea until Soekarno’s successors.
It’s not the first time for capital relocation idea to create pros and cons. On one hand, careful considerations of cost during difficult economy as well as movement of State Civil Apparatus and their family are required.
On the other hand, the relocation opens space for government activities far from business and economy. So, the government can be more focused on governmental issues. Besides, the relocation should help boosting development outside Java Island.