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Minister of National Development Planning and Head of the National Development Planning Agency, Bambang Brodjonegoro., Jakarta – The government has assured that the transfer of the capital city to Kalimantan will not damage its preserved forest, Minister of National Development Planning and Head of the National Development Planning Agency Bambang Brodjonegoro said. “The area (that will be developed as a new capital city) is vacant land. Thus it will not disturb the forest,” Bambang told the press after a discussion on the transfer of the capital city, here Wednesday (10/7/2019).

Instead, the government will conduct reforestation he added.

Of the total Rp466 trillion of budget to move the capital city from Jakarta to Kalimantan, a part of it would be allocated to the recovery of the deforested land.

The plan to allocate the budget for reforestation was in line with President Joko Widodo’s order conveyed in the cabinet meeting recently, to build a green capital city.

“(President Jokowi) has ordered Mrs. Siti (Minister of Environment and Forestry) that there must be a reforestation program. It can be done using the budget,” he said.

Deforestation in Kalimantan was due to mining activities and palm oil plantation, Bambang admitted. Therefore, the government is committed to conducting reforestation alongside the development of the new capital.

The prospective land is vacant thus it would not create a new problem for the locals and cause any agrarian conflict, the government has assured.

“At least, there will be no land dispute and a legal suit that, furthermore, will hamper the development process. We hope that the land could be prepared soon after we determine the location,” he added.

President Joko Widodo will soon announce the location of the new capital city, Bambang said earlier.

“Hopefully, in the near future, the president will announce the location (for the new capital city),” he said.

Among the prospective locations are Bukit Soeharto in East Kalimantan, Gunung Mas in Central Kalimantan, and the Golden Triangle of Central Kalimantan.

Currently, the government is conducting reviews to determine the location and a decision will be made by the president. (ase)

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The thick smoke had significantly reduced visibility to 600 meters making pilots uneasily land at the airport., Kalimantan – The thickening haze arising from land and forest fires disrupted the flight schedules of Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya, the capital city of Central Kalimantan Province, on Sunday (15/9/2019).

The thick smoke had significantly reduced visibility to 600 meters making pilots uneasily land at the airport, Siswanto, the executive General Manager of state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II-Tjilik Riwut Airport said here on Sunday (15/9/20-19).

The airport authorities just served two Lion Air’s flights for Surabaya and Jakarta on Sunday morning, he said, adding that the poor visibility has also made Garuda Indonesia cancel its take-off from and landing at the airport.

The thickening smog arising from the ongoing wildfires had disrupted several flight schedules, including the ones from Palangka Raya to cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Solo, he added.

On Sunday morning, the passengers of Lion Air flight JT 626 also failed to arrive at North Kalimantan Province’s Juwata International Airport due to poor visibility.

Due to thickening haze covering Tarakan city on Sunday morning, the pilot decided to divert his airplane’s landing at Sepinggan International Airport in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.

The Lion Air JT 626 was scheduled to arrive at Juwata International Airport at 08.40 a.m. local time, and the aircraft had actually cruised above Tarakan city, said Evi, one of the passengers on board of this Lion Air JT 626.

However, owing to the thickening smog, the pilot decided to divert the landing of his aircraft at Sepinggan International Airport, she said.

Shortly after landing at Sepinggan, all passengers were requested by the Lion Air ground officials to wait for the next notification at the airport’s waiting room.

“Actually, I should continue my trip to Malinau to attend an occasion but I do not know when I am asked to get on board of the airplane again,” said Evi, a civil servant of the Education and Culture Ministry.

Several parts of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan have been suffering from the impact of thick smoke arising from wildfires over the past weeks. The thickening smog has even threatened the people’s health and economic activities. (rda)

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The UAE delegation has also questioned the availability of land for the planned investment., Palangka Raya – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sent a delegation to Central Kalimantan in Indonesia to observe several areas as a follow up to a plan to invest in food crops in the province.

The UAE delegation, along with the director general of plantations and the chief of research and development center of the Agriculture Ministry, visited the areas.

“The UAE will invest in Indonesia. One of the regions they want to observe is Central Kalimantan. However, this has nothing to do with a plan to move the capital of Indonesia to the province,” Secretary of the Central Kalimantan Provincial Government Fahrizal Fitri stated on Monday (5/8/2019).

The delegation had paid a visit to Central Kalimantan to tap the possibility of investment in the development of food crops, including rice, corn, and fruits. In fact, they are keen to develop dragon fruit plantations in Kalampangan Village.

If the investment plan were to be realized, they would export the farm products, particularly to the Middle East.

“Hence, this has nothing to do with the plan to move the capital. The planned development of farm commodities is not aimed at supplying foodstuffs to the prospective capital,” he stated.

The UAE delegation has also questioned the availability of land for the planned investment.

During their visit to Central Kalimantan, the delegation visited Palangka Raya, the province’s capital, and Katingan District. (mhs)

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Member of Commission XI, Michael Jeno., Palangka Raya – The House of Representatives’ Commission XI made a working visit to Central Kalimantan Province to conduct a specific study on the plan to move the capital city.

“We want to know more about Central Kalimantan, as it could be the new capital city,” a member of Commission XI, Michael Jeno said here on Monday (29/7/2019).

According to him, the purpose of the working visit is to actually discuss a number of things in depth, starting from inflation, economic growth and focus more on the preparation for the transfer of the country’s capital, that has become a source of concern both at home and abroad.

Jeno explained that one of the countries that has paid serious attention to the plan was Japan, which has made considerable investments in Indonesia.

“For that reason, it is only natural that we conduct an in-depth study of the plans of this central government, in order to be able to carry out the duties and functions of the House of Representatives appropriately, both in providing inputs and other matters,” he said.

Regional Secretary of Central Kalimantan, Fahrizal Fitri, said that his party had made a number of preparations, including on the provision of land, regarding the plan to move the capital city.

“We have reserved land between 300-500 thousand hectares to plan the location of the new capital in the golden triangle (segitiga emas) that includes Gunung Mas and Katingan Districts and Palangka Raya City,” he explained.

It has also mapped the development of the regional potential and key commodities, including the plan to establish food estate for organic rice, cassava and others. So, the provincial government is not only trying to provide the land needs, but to also fulfill the needs of the capital city, such as food. (kas)

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