Transport and Communication
Road & Railways | Inland Water Ways
| Rail & Air Link | Communication
Road And Railways
Formidable terrain had been the major obstacle in road building in Mizoram. During the expeditions into the hills, the British took with them
a large number of work force mainly to clear the jungles, make earth cuts for
the laden animals to proceed and for the entire column to move to the
interior. Thus, bridle paths fit for loaded ponies came into
existence. The main bridle paths connected Mizoram with Chittagong in the
west, Cachar plains in the north and the chin hills in Burma in the east.
By 1935 the important bridle paths were : Demagiri (border of Chittagong Hill
Tracts) - Lunglei (70 Km), Dwar band (cachar) - Aizawl (125 km), Aizawl - Falam
(Burma) (165 Km) and Lunglei - Haka (Burma) (90 Km). Inside Mizoram the
bridle paths were : Sairang - Changsil (10 Km), Aizawl - North
vanlaiphai (128 Km), Aizawl Lunglei (165 km), Aizawl Tipaimukh (115 Km)
Lunglei Serkawar (108 km), Dokhma - Koladyne (50 km) Zawngling - Tongkolong
(67 Km), Tuipang - Chakang (72 km) and Loch's trace road (83 km).
These totaled 1,248 Km of bridle path in the Mizo Hills.In addition some
unmetaled roads fit for animal drawn carts also came up.
These were Aizawl - Sairang (22 Km) and town roads in Aizawl (10 Km), Lunglei (4
Km), Sairang (3 Km) and Demagiri (2 Km) making a total of 41 Km.
The bridle paths were mostly used for maintenance of supplies to the Assam Rifle
Posts in the interior. The connection with Falam and Haka in the chin
hills enabled linkage with these two stations in Burma till move stable paths
could be built in Burma connecting these two stations with the plains of Burma.
During the second world war (1939 -45) with the Japanese occupation of Burma,
the strategic importance of the Mizo hills came into focus. A 190 Km jeepable
road was constructed connecting Silchar and Aizawl. In 1950, construction
of the 205 Km Aizawl - Lunglei jeep road was completed.
After the Chinese invasion into Arunachal Pradesh in 1962, the Government
accorded priority to strategic road building in the border areas of the north -
east. The Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) was deployed in Mizoram in 1963
and they started up-gradation of the Aizawl - Lunglei road to good black topped
standard fit for heavy vehicles and cars. They later took up the Aizawl -Silchar
road and other trunk roads in the state. The PWD was strengthened to take
up construction of subsidiary road. Under the employment generation
scheme about 700 Km of jeep able roads were constructed in the early 1970s
connecting the remote villages with the nearest BRTF/PWD road. These roads
were of much use to the villagers as essential commodities like rice and other
food articles, could be sent to the interior in jeeps instead of depending on
costly and uncertain airdropping and head loads.
Even though number of roads have been constructed, the road position in the
state is not up to the requirement. The road density in Mizoram is 22 Km
per 100 Sq Km as against the national average of 49 and average 39 in the other
areas of the north - eastern region. By the end of the seventh plan 623 villages
got road connection. During the Eight plan this number have been increased
Inland Water Ways
There is a good scope for the development of inland water ways in Mizoram.
Before partition of India in 1947 there was an excellent waterway between
Chittagong in Bangladesh and Demagiri in Mizoram through the Karnafuli
river. With coming up of Kaptai dam on the Karnafuli in Bangladesh, a huge
area around Demagiri has been submerged. This has created a good potential
of inland water transport in the area. Another water way in the south was
In the north, the most frequently used water way was the Tlawng by which the
British used to move men and material from Silchar to Sairang, gateway to Aizawl.
It was a journey of about seven days inward and three days outward.
There is a big scheme for development of water ways in Mizoram for having a dam
on the Tlawng at Bairabi which will provide navigation from Bairabi to Lunglei,
a distance of about 350 Km, in addition to a supply of 100 MW of hydel power.
There is good possibility of inland water transport in the Tuichawng river near
Chawngte and also on the Koladyne.
Rail and Air Link
Mizoram has limited scope of railways and air link because of the terrain.
The nearest railway is at Silchar and another railway is constructed
between Silchar and Bairabi. There is very little scope of
railways going further into the hills.
Because of the steep hills there is hardly any suitable stretch of land
available where long runways can be made. With a lot of effort a small airstrip
for has been constructed at Tuirial. A vayudoot service runs between
Calcutta and Aizawl via Silchar.
During the expeditions and immediately thereafter the British constructed
telegraphic lines for communication between the plains of Bengal and Assam to
Demagiri, Lunglei and Aizawl and further to Falam and Haka in Burma. They
also used in the interiors, a system of Helio communication when
from one village hill top another messages in Morse code would be transmitted
through the reflection of sunlight by mirrors. The British also set up a
large number of post offices in the interior.
In 1960s there were only two manually operated battery system of telephones -
one in Aizawl and the other in Lunglei. Now automatic telephone
exchanges has come up in several places in Mizoram. Aizawl, Lunglei, Champhai,
Sairang and Vairengle are some of them.