Aizawl, Sep 12 : The entire world remembers September 11 as a day when the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York were destroyed in a terror attack.
But in faraway Mizoram, it was a historic day as the first vehicle made its way to Aizawl on this day 70 years ago.
C Rochhinga, a youth then, had to face a lot of hardships in bringing a Chevrolet mini-truck to Aizawl. He had to dismantle the vehicle at Puarbon in Assam's Cachar district for loading it on a boat.
After travelling for several days, he finally reached Sairang village on the banks of the Tlawng river. He, then, assembled the truck again and drove to Aizawl on September 11, 1942.
Last year, Rochhinga died at his house in Aizawl.
At that time, the road between Sairang and Aizawl, now one of the best roads in the state, could be traversed only on foot or bullock carts. So, the day when Rochhinga entered Aizawl driving the vehicle, almost everybody came out of their houses to witness this unprecedented event. Some boys were even seen chasing the truck and Rochhinga was revered as a demi-god.
His daughter, Remiliani, now a government employee, quoted her father as saying that many girls fell in love with him as he became a celebrity overnight. "The superintendent of Lushai Hills (now Mizoram) issued a prohibitory order on that day asking the people not to fetch firewood closer than a furlong from the main road as the impact of the running vehicle might knock them off the road," she said.
Things have changed a lot since then as Mizoram now has more than 1.09 lakh vehicles and the average possession of vehicle by a Mizo family now is 0.94.