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Indonesian president is serious about moving capital out of Jakarta

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday says his government is serious about plans to move the country’s capital out of “sinking and traffic-clogged” Jakarta.

Joko said that he was on a trip to the Indonesian part of Borneo Island to inspect a potential site for the new capital.

He added that “the government is serious about relocating the country’s capital.

“Since last year, the National Development Planning Agency has conducted a study on the economic, socio-political and environmental aspects of the plan,’’ Joko said on his official Twitter account.

He said that three locations had offered land to be used to develop a new capital, however he did not elaborate.

The city of Palangkaraya on Borneo has been tipped to be the country’s future capital, with experts saying that unlike other parts of Indonesia, it is not prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said recently that such a move could take 10 years and cost up to 33 billion dollars.

The government has cited traffic congestion, frequent flooding and faster land subsidence as the main considerations for the move.

About 40 per cent of Jakarta, a metropolis of 10 million people, is now below sea level.

The greater Jakarta area including satellite cities is home to 30 million people.

The government has said economic losses caused by the city’s traffic jams are estimated at 100 trillion rupiah (7 billion dollars) a year. (NAN)