|Area||21,081 sq. km|
|Principal Languages||Mizo and English|
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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 91.58 per cent is the third most literate in the country. Serchip district (98.76%) and Aizawl district (98.50%) recorded the highest literacy rates among districts in the country. The State also holds the highest child sex ratio with 971 females against 1000 males according to the 2011 Census.
About 60 per cent of the people of Mizoram are engaged in agricultural and its allied activities. The main pattern of agriculture followed is Jhum or Shifting cultivation. Of the total, 21 per cent is put on the paddy/seasonal crops. About 63 per cent of the total crop area is under Jhum cultivation. To replace the destructive and unproductive Jhum cultivation with sustainable means of occupation, the State Government has launched an innovative programme called the New Land Use Policy cover all the districts of Mizoram. An integrated Land Use Planning, aimed at preservation of rain forests, creation of community reserve forests, supply reserves, earmarking of cultivation areas under New Land Use Policy, habitation and infrastructure development will be adopted.
6.30 lakh hectare of land, out of the estimated total of 21 lakh hectare, is available for cultivation of horticulture crops. 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 chilies are also grown. A multi-purpose Packing House has been set up at the Horticulture Centre, Chite in collaboration with M/s Argos (Agri Projects) Ltd., Israel.
Floriculture is growing occupation in Mizoram. Cultivation of anthurium had been introduced in 2002 under the Technology Mission Programme. Today, Mizoram anthurium cut flowers are exported to other States of India and other countries like UAE and UK etc. Commercial cultivation of rose under hitech green house was introduced in 2006 by the Horticulture Department. Roughly 10,000 nos. of Rose cut flowers are being harvested everyday.
91.27 per cent of the total geographical area (21,081 sq km) is covered with forest which is the highest in the country. Out of this, 0.64 per cent is very dense forest while a very substantial portion i.e. 69 per cent is open forest. The hugely popular and effective Green Mizoram Programme has been continued to its refined form, giving more stress to the survival of the trees planted. 4700 hectares of plantation have been created under the National Afforestation Programme. Recognizing the State's contribution in afforestation and wasteland development, the Ministry of Environment and Forests awarded the prestigious Indira Priyadarshini Vriksha Mitra (IPVM) Awards 2010 to Mizoram. The Aizawl Zoo has made premier record on the first ever successful captive breeding of the highly endangered and rare bird locally called Vavu or the Hame's Bartailed Pheasant.
Due to the hilly nature of the State, all irrigation projects are confined to Minor Irrigation. Wet Rice Cultivation potential area of Mizoram is estimated as 74,644 ha (as per Mizoram Remote Sensing Application Centre). 390 nos. of minor irrigation projects have been completed covering an area of 15,59 hectare. 49 nos. of minor irrigation projects covering an area of 2,639 ha are scheduled for completion during the year 2012-13.
Due to its topographical and geographical disadvantage coupled with underdeveloped infrastructure and transport bottleneck, growth in industry has various modes. However, with the opening up of border trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Look East Policy of the Government of India and with the peaceful condition of the State, industrialization will substantially gain momentum in the near future.
Small industries dominate the industrial scenario acquiring prominent place in the socio-economic development of the State. The total number of small scale units registered up to 2009-10 was 7,888. With the objective of promoting industries in rural areas, the State Government is presently running two numbers of common facility centres and one RIDC with intake capacity of 35 trainers. Infrastructural development like Industrial Growth Centre (IGI) 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 neighboring states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, etc.
The State's power demand is presently worked out to be 107 MW, the bulk of its power requirement is met from Central Sector Generating Stations in which the share of Mizoram is 65.31 MW. However, real time available power is normally 40 MW due to reduction of generation from the Central Generating Station, Transmission failure etc. The State's installed generation capacity as on January 2011 is 29.05 MW Hydel, 22.92 MW Bairabi Thermal Plant and DG Set at Lengpui are used only for emergency purposes. Total number of electric consumers as on 31st March 2010 is 153999 and number of electrified villages as on January 2011 is 603 out of 707 villages. Balance 104 villages are being electrified under RGGVY Scheme.
Road serves as the most important means of communication, transportation of goods and passengers within the State, inter-state and with international borders. Total road length in the state is 6349.60km and road density is 300012km/100sq km approximately. There are 6 National Highways passing through the length and breadth of Mizoram. NH-54 connects Aizawl with the rest of the country through Silchar. Aizawl is also accessible by road from Shillong and Guwahati.
Rail link in the state has been established at Bairabi, near the Assam border measuring 1.5km from Katakal junction. The Airport at Lengpuri is connected by flights to and from Kolkata, Imphal and Guwahati.
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.
Music and dance is a vital part of Mizo society. Often called as, "Song bird of the East" the Mizos are blessed with a precious God given talent in music. Festivals are celebrated with vibrant music, songs and beautiful energetic dances. Among the different fold dances, Cheraw, performed with bamboo is by far the most beautiful and well-known dance. In fact, Mizos set a new Guinness World Record of the largest bamboo dance ensemble where 10,736 young men and women performed the Cheraw dance on 12th March, 2010.
Cloudy day taken on 2004
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. Reiek Tlang, where the Tourism Department created a typical Mizo village, modern Mizo village, resort and cafeteria is another tourist attraction where Anthurium Festival is held every year.
* As per 2011 Census (Provisional Data)
Source: India Book 2012 - A Reference Annual