|Area||21,081 sq. km|
|Principal Languaged||Mizo and English|
History and Geography
Mizoram is a mountainous region which became the 23rd state of the Indian Union in February 1987. It was one of the districts of Assam till 1972 when it became a Union Territory. After being annexed by the British in 1891, for the first few years, Lushai Hills in the north remained under Assam while the southern half remained under Bengal. Both these parts were amalgamated in 1898 into one district called Lushai Hills District under the Chief Commissioner of Assam. With the implementation of the North-Eastern Reorganisation Act in 1972, Mizoram became a Union Territory and as a sequel to the signing of the historic memorandum of settlement between the Government of India and the Mizo National Front in 1986, it was granted statehood on 20 February 1987. Sandwiched between Myanmar in the east and the south and Bangladesh in the west, Mizoram occupies an area of great strategic importance in the north-eastern corner of India. Mizoram has great natural beauty and an endless variety of landscape. It is rich in fauna and flora.
The origin of the word ‘Mizo’ is not known. The Mizos came under the influence of the British Missionaries in the 19th Century. Now most of the Mizos are Christians. Mizo language has no script of its own. The missionaries introduced the Roman script for the Mizo language and formal education. Literacy in the state has grown rapidly, and Mizoram literacy at 88.8 per cent today, is the second highest in the country. The State government is striving hard to attain the top position in the near future.
About 80 per cent of the people of Mizoram are engaged in agricultural pursuits. The main pattern of agriculture followed is Jhum or Shifting cultivation. Of the total 21 lakh ha. of land estimated, 6.30 lakh hectares of land is available for cultivation of horticulture crops. The existing area under different horticulture crops account for about 4127.6 hectares, which is only 6.55 per cent of the estimated potential area. This indicates the vast scope for horticulture crops to flourish in Mizoram. The main horticulture crops are Mandarin Orange, Banana, Passion Fruit, Grapes, Hatkora, Pineapple, Papaya, etc., and flowers like Anthurium, Bird of Paradise, Orchid, Chrysanthemum, Rose and other subsidiary seasonal flowers. Spices like Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper and Bird’s eye Chillies are also grown. People have also started extensive cultivation of oil palm, medicinal and aromatic plants.
The ultimate surface irrigation potential is estimated at 70,000 hectares of which 45,000 hectares is under flow and 25,000 hectares by construction and 70 pucca minor irrigation projects and six lift irrigation projects for raising double and triple crops in a year are nearing completion.
The entire Mizoram is a Notified Backward Area and was categorised under ‘No Industry District’ in mid seventies. With the announcement of State Industrial Policy 1989, few modern small-scale industries have come up during the past decade. To further accelerate growth of industries, a New Industrial Policy of Mizoram was announced in the year 2000. The Policy identified thrust areas like Electronics and Information Technology, Bamboo and Timber based products, Food and Fruit Processing, Textiles, Handloom and Handicrafts, etc.
In order to attract investment from outside the State, the Policy permits joint venture for all large, medium and small scale industries with local partners. Infrastructural development like Industrial Growth Centre (IGC) at Luangmual, Aizawl, Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) at Lengte, Integrated Infrastructural Development Centre (IIDC) at Pukpui, Lunglei and Food Park at Chhingchhip are nearing completion, apart from upgradation of the existing industrial estates.
Scientific cultivation of tea has also been taken up. Establishment of Apparel Training and Design Centre, Gems cutting and polishing are in the pipeline to encourage setting up of Export Oriented Units (EOUs). Of the cottage industries, Handloom and Handicrafts are given high priority and the two sectors are flourishing to meet consumers demand in the State and in the neighbouring states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, etc. to meet consumers demand in the state and in the neighbouring states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, etc.
With the opening up of border trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh, and the ‘Look East Policy’ of the Government of India coupled by peaceful condition of the State, Mizoram will no more be a remote corner State of the country, and as a result of which industrialisation will substantially gain momentum in the near future.
About 80 per cent of the people of Mizoram are engaged in agricultural pursuits. The main pattern of agriculture followed is Jhum or Shifting cultivation. Of the total 21 lakh ha. of land estimated, 6.30 lakh hectares of land is available for cultivation of horticulture crops. The existing area under different horticulture crops account for about 4127.6 hectares, which is only 6.55 per cent of the estimated potential area. This indicates the vast scope for horticulture crops to flourish in Mizoram. The main horticulture crops are fruit crops viz. Mandarin Orange, Banana, Passion Fruit, Grapes, Hatkora, Pineapple, Papaya, etc., and flowers like Anthurium, Bird of Paradise, Orchid, Chrysanthemum, Rose and other subsidiary seasonal flowers. Spices like Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper and Bird’s eye Chillies are also grown. People have also started extensive cultivation of oil, palm, medicinal and aromatic plants.
Construction of Tuirial HEP (60 MW) is in progress. Survey and investigation works of Kolodyne HEP (500 MW) has been completed by CWC. This project provides inland water transport facilities for the region besides generating 500 MW of power and the Government of Mizoram has given paramount importance to it. 3 MW capacity Tuipanglui and Kau-Tlabung SHPs were commissioned recently thus enhancing the state’s hydro generation by 15 MW capacity. Works on Maicham-II (3MW), Serlui ‘B’ (12MW) and Lamsial (0.5 MW) SHPs are in progress and expected to be commissioned during 2007.
A Total of 695 villages have been electrified and 709 km of 132 kv line completed.
Total road length in the State is 5,982.25 km (BRO & State PWD). Rail link in the state has been established at Bairabi. Aizawl is connected by air. In order to have a better connectivity, the Government has undertaken the Mizoram State Roads Projects with a total cost of Rs.350 crore under funds provided by the World Bank. Connectivity under PMGSY covering a total length of 2,421 km connecting 384 villages of Mizoram is making steady progress.
Mizos are basically agriculture oriented. All their activities centre around jhum cultivation and their festivals are linked with such agricultural operations. Kut is the Mizo term for festival. Among the various cultural festivals, only three viz. Chapchar Kut, Mim Kut & Thalfavang Kut are observed today.
Aizawl, located at nearly 4,000 ft. above sea level, is a religious and cultural centre of Mizoram. Champhai is a beautiful resort on the Myanmar border. Tam Dil, a natural lake with virgin forests, is 80 km from Aizawl and 10 km from Tourist Resort of Saitual. Vantawng Falls, 5 km from the town of Thenzawl, is the highest and most beautiful waterfall in Mizoram. The department of Tourism has opened Tourist Lodges in all the bigger towns all over the State, and Highway Restaurants and Travellers’ Inns in other townships. There is also a Recreational Centre at Beraw Tlang, Aizawl and Alpine Picnic Hut at District Park near Zobawk.