Chicken Neck Corridor | How to widen Chicken Neck Corridor or Siliguri Corridor ?

How to widen Chicken Neck Corridor
  • The Siliguri Corridor, also known as the Chicken’s Neck, is a stretch of land around the city of Siliguri in West Bengal, India. India’s North East is geographically isolated from the rest of India and is connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land called the Siliguri Corridor, which is about 200 km long and 60 km wide. At its narrowest, it is just 17 km wide.
  • The countries of Nepal and Bangladesh lie on each side of corridor and the Kingdom of Bhutan lies at the northern the corridor. The city of Siliguri (West Bengal), is the central transfer po that connects Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sikkim, Darcie and Northeast India to one another.

History :

  • The partition of India led to the formation of the Siliguri Corridor through the creation of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) af the partition of Bengal(1947-1948).
  • The kingdom of Sikkim formerly lay on the northern side of the corridor, until its union with India in 1975 via a publicly held referendum. This gave India a buffer to the north of the Siliguri Corridor and consolidated India’s control over the western side of the Chumbi Valley.

India and China’s dispute over it :

  • Since 2017 Indian and Chinese troops have been facing off across a small meadow called Turning Point at the end of that very valley – an 89 sq km pasture called the Doklam plateau, which is claimed by China.
  • The trijunction is the point the borders of India (Sikkim), Bhutan and China (Tibet). The trijunction is disputed – India claims it is at Batang La, while China claims it is around 6.5 to the south, at Gymochery.
  • Both claims are based on competing interpretations of the 1890 Calcutta Convention between Britain and China. As per the agreement between the Special Representatives of India and China in 2012, the two sides have to maintain the status quo until their competing claims are resolved in consultation with the third party Bhutan.
  • In 2017, India accused China of constructing a road in the disputed territory towards Doklam plateau, an objection that the Royal Bhutanese Army has also raised. India intervened in the crisis supporting Bhutan’s stand and asking China to hall its construction work.
  • You can also know about India-China AksaiChin issue.

Significance of Doklam plateau and the Chumbi Valley :

  • India sees it as a dagger pointed towards ‘chicken’s neck’ sector in the Northeast and rapid Chinese road construction in Tibet could make things difficult for India. In the event of war, India’s Brigade-sized military presence inside Bhutan, stationed at Ha, allows it to attack the Chumbi valley from two sides, potential cutting off Chinese troops stationed facing Sikkim -Tri-junction.
  • But China’s recent assertions in the area are portentous for Bhutan which has never faced territorial issues with the Dragon in the past. China, citing the 1890 China-Britain treaty, calls Doklam its own while Bhutan has disputed the fact saying the convention applies to the India-Bhutan border, not Bhutan and China.

India’s strategy to widen Chicken Neck Corridor:

  • Land Swap wap Agreement with Bangladesh: India has never publicly negotiated to widen Siliguri corridor at cost of Bangladesh. India had exchanged enclaves with Bangladesh. There were 51 Bangladeshi enclave in India and 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh. An enclave is the fragmented territory of one sovereign power located inside another sovereign territory.
  • Agartala via Guwahati is 1,650 km from Kolkata by road and 2.637 km from New Delhi, while the distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh is just about 500 to 600 km. India is negotiating direct rail and road links between West Bengal and North East via Bangladesh.
  • A Trilateral Agreement between Bhutan, India and Bangladesh to widen the route.
Sodhi Gautam

Sodhi Gautam

One thought on “Chicken Neck Corridor | How to widen Chicken Neck Corridor or Siliguri Corridor ?

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