The construction of the new Indonesian capital, which will replace the overpopulated and polluted Jakarta, will be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic after the government decided to use a large part of that budget to fight the health crisis.

The new capital, located on the island of Borneo and designed as a green city in which only electric vehicles will circulate, planned to start construction at the end of the year and become a reality in 2025, Efe news reported on Monday.

The budget of the new city, which still does not have a name, amounts to some $34 billion and although it has not yet been approved by Parliament, the government had allocated funds to acquire the land.

The impact of COVID-19 in the country is causing plans for the future capital to change.

Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia capital Pixabay

Reduced budget

The coronavirus has reduced the budget for this year of the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, in charge of carrying out the project of the new city, which has gone from $7.7 billion to $4.8 billion.

In addition, the Ministry announced on Saturday that part of that budget will go to infrastructure dedicated to fighting the pandemic, such as just over $118 million dollars for the construction of a hospital in the town of Yogyakarta.

Located in the Kutai Kartanegara municipality, an undeveloped area, the new city was scheduled to begin construction later this year to move the archipelago's capital from Jakarta five years later.

The metropolitan area of the current capital has more than 30 million inhabitants and problems such as overcrowding and pollution are compounded by the fact that it is slowly sinking.

Indonesia is the Southeast Asian country with the highest number of deaths as a result of COVID-19, which has been detected in a total of 8,882 people, of whom 743 have died.