Recognizing Soeharto’s Hill, which suddenly entered the new capital


Let’s get to know Soeharto Hill in East Kalimantan. This location has been surveyed by President Joko Widodo as a candidate for the location of the new capital city.

The Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (Ministry of PPN/Bappenas) stated that the Bukit Soeharto area was included in the state capital area (IKN) in East Kalimantan (Kaltim).

Even though it was originally stated that Bukit Soeharto, which is a protected forest, would not be disturbed for the purposes of the new capital city. Deputy for Regional Development of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) Rudy Prawiradinata explained the reason.

“Soeharto Hill was not included before, we took a long time to develop this, we designed this, from the beginning 150,000 hectares of the state capital area then we discussed with environmental experts, various things, with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, it is better if the areas that want to be protected should be included , so that it is easier to maintain it if it is under the national capital,” he said in a virtual discussion with RRI, Wednesday (23/2/2022).

Soeharto Hill (Rakhmad HP/detikcom)

From data and also citing various sources, the Bukit Soeharto Grand Forest Park is now warm again. The location was offered by the East Kalimantan Provincial Government as a candidate for the location of the new capital city.

How did the story get that name? Bukit Soeharto is a forest conservation area. Bukit Soeharto is known as the Bukit Soeharto Grand Forest Park.

This 61,850 hectare land was designated as a conservation area in 1991 during the Soeharto era. That’s why the hill is better known as Bukit Soeharto.

This area is very dark at night. Only a few cars and motorbikes strolled. If we want to go to Samarinda from Balikpapan, land travel is usually taken this way.

This road is still fairly good even though the lighting is very minimal and winding and only consists of two lanes, namely the path to Samarinda and vice versa.

In the past, along Bukit Soeharto consisted of tall trees and there were still many animals in the forest. Now, Bukit Soeharto is not well maintained and has even become an illegal racing arena.

It’s really sad to see and last year had the opportunity to pass it, traveling from Balikpapan to Tenggarong. Bukit Soeharto is not as densely forested as it seems, only a few points.

The ecosystem in Bukit Soeharto is a mixture of lowland forest, scrubland, reeds and beaches. The area is now a rehabilitation center for various types of perennials, and the fauna includes orangutans, sun bears, porcupines, gibbons, long-tailed macaques and wild boars.

The advantages of Soeharto Hill

Quoting from CNBC Indonesia, the height of Bukit Soeharto above sea level is above 25 meters on average. Second, there are no swamps and third, there are no settlements, thus pressing the land acquisition budget.

Furthermore, if it will become the new capital city, there will be integration with the Balikpapan-Samarinda Toll Road. Lastly, there are already two international airports in Balikpapan and Samarinda which are close to Bukit Soeharto.

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