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The Siliguri
Siliguri
Corridor, or Chicken's Neck, is a narrow stretch of land, located in the Indian state of West Bengal, that connects India's northeastern states to the rest of India, with the countries of Nepal and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
lying on either side of the corridor. The Kingdom of Bhutan
Bhutan
lies on the northern side of the corridor. The Kingdom of Sikkim
Sikkim
formerly lay on the northern side of the corridor, until its merger with India
India
in 1975. The city of Siliguri, in the state of West Bengal, is the major settlement in this area and the central node that connects Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sikkim, Darjeeling
Darjeeling
hills, Northeast India
India
and the rest of India.

Contents

1 History 2 Importance 3 Current situation 4 Free trade
Free trade
zone proposal 5 Notes

History[edit] The Siliguri
Siliguri
Corridor was created in 1947 after the Partition of Bengal
Bengal
(1947) of Bengal
Bengal
between India
India
and Pakistan
Pakistan
(former state of East Pakistan, now independent Bangladesh). The kingdom of Sikkim formerly lay on the northern side of the corridor, until its union with India
India
in 1975 via a publicly held referendum.[1][2] This gave India
India
a buffer to the north of the Siliguri
Siliguri
Corridor and consolidated India's control over the western side of the Chinese Chumbi Valley. Importance[edit] Although the Siliguri
Siliguri
Corridor is an especially important and sensitive territory for India, its location has created a political reality that is also important for Bangladesh. The partition of India into India
India
and Pakistan
Pakistan
occurred as a result of hostility between the Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
and the Muslim League. From the very beginning, the relationship between these two new states was marked by hostilities and confrontations. The formation of East Pakistan
Pakistan
created a geographical barrier to the northeastern part of India. The narrow Siliguri
Siliguri
Corridor, which at one point is less than 27 kilometres (17 mi) wide, remained as the only bridge between the northeastern part of India
India
and the rest of the country. Wedged between Bangladesh
Bangladesh
to the south and west and China
China
to the north, the region has no access to the sea closer than Kolkata, on the other side of the corridor.[3] Between Sikkim
Sikkim
and Bhutan
Bhutan
lies the Chumbi Valley, a dagger-like slice of Tibetan territory. A Chinese military advance of less than 130 kilometres (81 mi) would cut off Bhutan, part of West Bengal
West Bengal
and all of North-East India, an area containing almost 50 million people. This situation arose during the war between India
India
and China
China
in 1962.[4] Current situation[edit]

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2017)

As a sensitive area amidst three countries, the strip is heavily patrolled by the Indian Army, the Assam
Assam
Rifles, the Border Security Force and the West Bengal
West Bengal
Police. In recent times, the area has become the focus of illegal crossings by Bangladeshi rebels and Nepali Maoist insurgents, both in search of refuge from their country. A flourishing narcotics and weapons traffic also takes place in this region[citation needed]. All land transportation between mainland India
India
and its far northeastern states uses this circuitous corridor, as there is no free-trade agreement between Bangladesh
Bangladesh
and India. The Tatulia Corridor, an alternative to the Siliguri
Siliguri
Corridor, is proposed under Article VIII of the India– Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Trade Agreement 1980, which states that "The two governments agree to make mutually beneficial arrangements for the use of their waterways, railways and roadways for commerce between the two countries and for passage of goods between two places in one country through the territory of the other"[citation needed]. However, the proposal is still in the initial stages of negotiation. The route has a major broad gauge railway line. Electrification of this double-track corridor is in progress with assistance from CORE Central Organization for Railway Electrification). Additionally, the old metre gauge line (recently converted to a 1.676 metres (5 ft 6.0 in) broad-gauge line) connects Siliguri
Siliguri
Junction with Islampur in North Dinajpur District of West Bengal, via Bagdogra (the only airport of national interest in the corridor) and the bordering towns of Adhikari, Galgalia, Thakurganj, Naxalbari and Taiabpur with Nepal. National Highway 31 connects Siliguri
Siliguri
to Guwahati
Guwahati
in Assam, which is the most critical highway in the region, owing to insurgents operating in the vicinity.[5] Free trade
Free trade
zone proposal[edit] In 2002, India, Nepal, Bhutan
Bhutan
and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
studied a proposal to create a free trade zone in the area, which would enable all four countries to connect directly with each other without restrictions.[6] Notes[edit]

^ "Daytona Beach Morning Journal - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2018-01-28.  ^ "Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2018-01-28.  ^ Marcus Franda, "Bangladesh, The First Decades", South Asian Publishers Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi,1982, p-126 ^ Partha S. Ghosh, "Cooperation and Conflict in South Asia", UPL, Dhaka,1989, p-43 ^ "Chicken's Neck, All choked up." Outlook. 13 July 1998. Accessed 27 February 2011. ^ "Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan
Bhutan
and India
India
to set up FTA." Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry News & News. July–August 2002. Accessed 30 May 2008.

Coordinates: 26°35′N 88°15′E / 26.583°N 88.250°E / 26.583; 88.250

v t e

West Bengal
West Bengal
topics

Capital: Kolkata

History

Shashanka Pala Empire Sena dynasty Sher Shah Suri Mughal Empire British East India
India
Company Siraj ud-Daulah Battle of Plassey Dutch India Bengal
Bengal
Presidency Bengal
Bengal
Renaissance Indian rebellion of 1857 Bengal
Bengal
famine of 1770 Bengal
Bengal
famine of 1943 Partition of Bengal
Bengal
(1905) Revolutionary movement for Indian independence Anushilan Samiti Jugantar Partition of Bengal
Bengal
(1947) Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Liberation War Naxalite
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movement Nadia Raj

Geography

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Himalayan hill region Terai North Bengal
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plains Dooars Rarh region Sundarbans Reserve Forest Western plateau and high lands Ganges Delta Climate Highest point Protected areas Rivers Khoai Tiger Hill, Darjeeling Siliguri
Siliguri
Corridor

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