Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is on Java Island. Once the country gets a new capital on Borneo Island, it will cease to exist. The new capital will be located in Borneo's sparsely populated jungle area. The megaproject of President Joko Widodo envisages a budget of $32.5bn to build the new capital. Its name would be Nusantara, a Javanese name for the Indonesian archipelago. Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa told parliament: "The new capital has a central function and is a symbol of the identity of the nation, as well as a new center of economic gravity."

Plans to relocate the government from Jakarta have been on the cards for a long time, and it could now be the fulfillment of a dream.

Jakarta is a bustling metropolis of 10 million people. The population of Indonesia is nearly 270 million people, and nearly half of them live in Java. Chronic congestion leads to travel difficulties while floods and pollution plague the city. The worst part is the stark reality that it is sinking because of the over-extraction of groundwater. President Joko Widodo had announced the plan to relocate the capital in 2019. However, the pandemic affected the progress.

The new capital of Indonesia

Nusantara, the new capital, will be 1,250 miles northeast of Jakarta. It will be a low-carbon "super hub." The present capital is Jakarta on Java Island, and it is a densely populated area. By contrast, the new location is in the center of Indonesia.

It will have the advantage of being in an area free from natural disasters.

Presently about 900,000 people live in the area identified as the new capital. The government has set aside nearly 445,000 acres for the planned city. It would be a decade-long exercise to move the administrative center on a rough estimate. The state will fund a certain percentage of the $32.5bn costs.

The balance would be procured through alternate sources like public-private partnerships and private investment.

The ecological balance might be lost in Indonesia

Relocation of the capital of Indonesia is necessary. However, there is criticism on the choice of the new location. In the opinion of environmentalists, the move will disturb the ecological balance in the region.

It will hasten the destruction of forests that are home to a wide variety of wildlife. Indonesia has orangutans, sun bears, and long-nosed monkeys. Moreover, there would be an increase in pollution from coal mining and palm oil industries.

Indonesia finally announces its new capital on Borneo Island

The name of the new capital of Indonesia will be Nusantara. It means "archipelago" in Javanese. The reason for relocation was the rapid sinking of Jakarta attributed to the over-extraction of groundwater. It sits on swampy land on the large island of Java and suffers from overcrowding and pollution. The region has jungles rich in minerals and an orangutan population.

Relocating Jakarta would be one of the biggest infrastructure projects the government of Indonesia has ever undertaken.

Critics point out that the proposed new capital has ignored environmental factors. They say construction of the new city would mean an expansion of palm-oil plantations and login an area that boasts of diverse wildlife and lush rainforests.