Aizawl, Nov 19 (PTI): At a time when Delhi and many other cities in India are grappling with air pollution, Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga has invited people to visit his State and ‘breathe clean air’ and enjoy its scenic beauty.
He made the remarks during his address at the inauguration of 10th edition of the International Tourism Mart (ITM) for the Northeast region recently in Aizawl.
He also urged people to visit the State that advocates tourism with sustainability and responsibility.
Zoramthanga, in a lighter vein, also said tourists can enjoy the clean air of Mizoram ‘free of cost’.
“Mizoram is endowed with picturesque scenic beauty with mountains, waterfalls, and scenic locations which offer majestic views of floating clouds,” he said.
In his speech, he spoke of air pollution and other kinds of environmental pollution that many cities are battling with.
People in Delhi and its neighbouring cities have been dealing with increase in air pollution for the past few months, with the air quality index (AQI) times dipping to the ‘severe’ zone, prompting graded curbs from pollution control authorities.
Zoramthanga, in his address, invited tourists to come and “enjoy the beautiful unpolluted atmosphere of Mizoram”.
Mizoram capital Aizawl is known for its favourable AQI that is largely reported in the ‘good’ range, and tourists visiting it often speak glowingly about the cool fresh air they get here, away from the hustle and bustle of life in big cities.
Aizawl resident, Reuben Larinawma, a first-year BBA student at a college here, said, “We are blessed with bountiful nature, and clean air, and we respect our environment and try to keep it clean”.
Asked if he was aware of the air pollution situation in Delhi, “I have never been to Delhi, but I read in media that air quality is bad there in this season every year”.
Several thousands of tourists head out every year from Delhi to hill states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to beat the heat or leave behind polluted air.
Asked how local community looks at prospect of rise in tourism in the State, principal secretary in Mizoram’s Tourism department, Manisha Saxena during an interaction with reporters on the second day of ITM, said, “the local community has always had this anxiety that over-tourism will spoil the environment”.
“Mizoram talks of responsible tourism, and we would like to cater to responsible tourists,” she said in response to a PTI query.
The top official said in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, the average footfall of tourists coming to Mizoram was about 1.61 lakh.
The second day of the ITM included presentations by eight Northeastern States on their tourism potential as well as cultural evenings.
Business-to-busines meeting was also arranged, where buyers from different regions of the country engaged in one-on-one meetings with sellers from the region, officials said.
Beautiful handicrafts and handlooms of each of the states have also been showcased at the venue.