Indonesia has just passed a bill replacing it’s capital Jakarta with East Kalimantan. Situated to the east of Borneo island, the new capital city of Indonesia will be called Nusantara.
Earlier, Indonesian President Joko Widodo had cited environmental issues behind the plans to move the capital from Jakarta.
Also, financial inequality remains one of the reasons driving the step to change the Indonesian capital.
The decision comes after an in-depth study, especially in the last three years.
The plan to move the capital will reduce the burden on Jakarta.
Since it has become extremely congested, suffers from regular flooding and remains one of the fastest sinking cities in the world due to the over-extraction of groundwater.
The new name for the capital area has been selected from more than 80 options. It was chosen because it reflects Indonesia’s geography, and was iconic internationally.
But critics also point out that the choice seems confusing as Nusantara is also used to refer to the archipelago nation as a whole.
Indonesia shifts its Capital
The Ring of Fire remains a hotly debated topic. It is a path along the Pacific Ocean characterized by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.
There are 15 countries in the ring of fire including Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Japan, United States, Chile, Canada, Guatemala, Russia, Peru, Solomon Islands, Mexico and Antarctica.
It is also known as the Circum-Pacific Belt which is more prone to natural disasters.
Basically, Jakarta will remain Indonesia’s commercial and financial centre, but the government administrative functions will move to East Kalimantan. The new capital will be based in the regions of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara.
According to the environmentalists, the move risks accelerating pollution in East Kalimantan; it may also contribute to the destruction of rainforests.
Nusantara translates as ‘archipelago’. The new capital has a central function and is a symbol of the identity of the nation, as well as a new centre of economic gravity, Indonesian authorities believe.