Jakarta – Jakarta's notorious traffic congestion was once again in the spotlight after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo revealed that he was held up by gridlock in the capital on his way to attend the Bank Indonesia Annual Meeting on Thursday evening.
After he arrived at the event's location in Ciputra Artpreneur, Jokowi told bankers in attendance that his presidential car – which always traveled alongside an entourage of his Presidential Security Detail – was stuck for around 30 minutes en route.
"There was a traffic jam, [my car] could not move for about half an hour," Jokowi said as quoted by kompas.com, "This [traffic jam] is why the capital is being moved."
The moment the President's convoy got stuck on Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio in Kuningan, South Jakarta, went viral on social media on Thursday evening after a Twitter user captured a short video and uploaded it to the platform.
Posted by user @catuaries, the footage showed presidential motorcades and the presidential car with plate number vehicle RI 1 trapped in congestion.
Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio is one of the busiest roads connecting business centers in Jakarta. A sidewalk construction project is currently ongoing in the area, adding more obstacles to motorists passing through the area.
The capital's perennial traffic jams have been cited by Jokowi's administration as one of the main reasons behind the decision to relocate the country's administrative hub from Jakarta.
Data from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) said traffic congestion in Greater Jakarta cost around Rp 65 trillion (US$4.6 billion) in losses each year.
Jokowi announced in August that the new capital city would be built in East Kalimantan, straddling a 180,000-hectare area in North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara regencies.
The government is currently finalizing a master plan for the new capital city – which is projected to cost up to Rp 466 trillion – with a target to start development by the end of next year. (gis)