BENGALURU: There are two serious problems that India, and Bengaluru, face. One, infectious diseases, and like any other country in the world, India is currently burdened with the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to over 6 lakh Covid-19 cases in the country and over 6,000 cases in Bengaluru, diseases like tuberculosis and malaria are also rampant. For example, about 20 lakh people were infected with TB, about 4 lakh people with malaria, and 1 lakh people with dengue in India in 2018.
The second issue is air pollution, which is very serious, especially in Delhi. The average PM2.5 for 2019 in Delhi was 98.6 micrograms per cubic metre. While I hope that the number of people suffering from infectious diseases will diminish and the level of air pollution will decline, in order to solve these problems, technology is very important. Fortunately, Bengaluru is advanced in the area of IT, BT and start-ups.
To reduce the level of air pollution, technology for environment-friendly manufacturing is necessary, and to reduce the number of infected people, the development of vaccines and medicines is effective. So I firmly believe that Bengaluru can contribute to the solution of such problems by prioritising the IT, BT and start-up sectors. I expect that pharmaceutical companies here will not only converge to tackle Covid-19 completely, but also halve the number of infected people in India. Also, I expect Bengaluru start-ups will be able to solve the problem of air pollution in India without stopping the economic growth.
Japan and several other countries have acquired the technology to tackle such problems and frameworks to cooperate with Bengaluru. By cooperation with these countries, Bengaluru will be more advanced as the IT, BT and startup hub in India and in the world. Solution: In order for Bengaluru to become one of the most advanced cities in the world, the city has to overcome the problem of traffic jams. The key to solving these problems is the extension of Namma Metro. I hope the Metro will be extended to the airport, Whitefield, Electronics City and other key places in the city in a couple of years.
n Katsumasa Maruo
Dy Consul-General, Consulate-General of Japan in Bengaluru