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As the fastest-sinking cities in the world, Jakarta will no longer serve as the capital of Indonesia. The government has decided to ease the burden on the city, and shift the capital to East Kalimantan on Borneo island, which the country shares with Malaysia. This is not the first time this plan has been discussed, previous leaders Suharto and Sukarno are noted for pushing the plan previously.
Jakarta did make for a problematic capital; with unbearable overcrowding and traffic, and of course, severe air pollution. Around 30 million people live in the city and the surrounding suburbs. Located below the sea level, Jakarta sinks around seven inches each year due to depletion of underground water. Flooding is another unfortunate addition.
East Kalimantan will make for a resource-rich and relatively safer capital. The earthquakes are fewer, and the only active volcano on the island is on Malaysia’s side. East Kalimantan is a prosperous area with two large cities: Balikpapan and Samarinda. The construction of the new capital will begin by 2021 and people may begin to move by 2024. The construction and development of the area as such will have to be met with utmost care. The tropical forest has many endemic and endangered species and, many tribal people to call it home.
With this announcement, Indonesia is one of the few countries to shift its capital to a different city (the list also includes India and Pakistan).
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