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Indonesia serious about moving capital from Jakarta

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

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

“The government is serious about relocating the country’s capital,” Joko said on his official Twitter account.

“Since last year, the National Development Planning Agency has conducted a study on the economic, socio-political and environmental aspects of the plan,” he said.

He said three regions had offered land to be used to develop a new capital, but 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.

National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said last week that such a move could take 10 years and cost up to $US33 billion ($A47 billion).

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 ($A10 billion) a year.

– AAP

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