Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Monday East Kalimantan has been chosen as the new national capital, and will be located in two regencies.
East Kalimantan is an Indonesian province located off the island of Borneo, about 800 miles away from the current capital Jakarta. Widodo said in April the move was needed because of overcrowding in Jakarta and to spread the country's development.
Jakarta has grown into the 21st largest city in the world with 9 million people, while the island of Java has 57 percent of the country's population of 260 million.
"The government has conducted in-depth studies in the past three years and as a result of those studies the new capital will be built in part of North Penajam Paser regency and part of Kutai Kertanegara regency in East Kalimantan," Widodo said at a news conference Monday.
The new capital takes in a portion of the Bukit Soeharto conservation forest area, where illegal logging has already endangered several species. Indonesia's planning minister said some land there will be targeted for rehabilitation and forest protection.
Widodo said a letter was delivered to the House of Representatives asking for swift approval of the decision. One of the requirements for the new capital was it be built in an area relatively free from volcanoes and earthquakes.
Indonesia is located in what is called the "Ring of Fire," the horseshoe-shaped region that includes the edges of the Pacific Ocean from Australia to the Andes and is home to about 90 percent of the world's earthquakes.
Moving will come with a sizable price tag, though, at $33 billion, Widodo said. The state government will foot the bill for one-fifth of the move with the rest coming from private investment and public-private ventures.