IDNAround – Indonesia is currently building the brand new state capital of Nusantara from scratch, and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is confident that the government can finish the presidential palace on time.
Jokowi has set a goal that the government would celebrate the 79th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence day on Aug. 17, 2024, at the presidential palace in Nusantara, East Kalimantan. While the garuda-inspired palace is still very much a work in progress, everything is going as planned, according to the president.
“So this is the presidential palace. I’m optimistic that we can hold the flag ceremony here in August next year,” Jokowi told reporters when visiting the construction site on Thursday.
Jokowi said that the presidential palace would stick to the original design, although it would have some adjustments. The palace will get occupied as soon as it completes construction. Although there is still a possibility that the ministers’ housing complex — or other projects in Nusantara — finishes first.
“So [the presidential palace] will be occupied once it is done. The same goes for the ministers’ housing, although they will not take all their staff here,” Jokowi said.
Earlier in the day, Jokowi stopped by the ministers’ housing, which would be set for completion by June 2024. The complex will have 36 houses.
“To date, the progress [for the ministers’ housing] has reached 14 percent, but we have started,” Jokowi said.
The ministries will move to the new capital one by one, starting with the Public Works Ministry, according to Jokowi. The president told the press there was no issue with the budget disbursement for the ministers’ housing.
The government also plans to build 47 apartment towers for civil servants and military officers, starting this June.
“I want to express optimism that work is underway for Nusantara, be it the infrastructure, offices, or ministers’ housing. So to those who still doubt [this project], here is the on-site progress,” Jokowi said.
The president added that building Nusantara “is not a project that only takes two or five years. It can take up to ten to fifteen years.”
Jokowi also visited the Mentawir Nursery in Penajam Paser. The nursery is capable of producing 20 million seedlings a year, which the government will use for reforestation programs not only in Nusantara but across Kalimantan.
Work is also in progress for the toll road that will connect Balikpapan —the port city of East Kalimantan— with the “core area” of Nusantara. This 40-kilometer toll road is expected to be ready by end-2024. By using this toll road, it should only take 30 minutes to travel from Balikpapan to Nusantara, and vice versa.
To date, about 7,800 workers are taking part in building Nusantara. About 34 percent of these workers are locals.