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The SILIGURI CORRIDOR, or CHICKEN\'S NECK, is a narrow stretch of land, located in the Indian state of West Bengal
West Bengal
, that connects India 's northeastern states to the rest of India
India
, with the countries of Nepal
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 city of Siliguri , in the state of West Bengal
West Bengal
, is the major settlement in this area and the central node that connects Bhutan
Bhutan
, Nepal
Nepal
, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
, Sikkim
Sikkim
, Darjeeling
Darjeeling
hills , Northeast India
India
and the rest of India
India
.

CONTENTS

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

HISTORY

See also: Partition of India
India

The Siliguri Corridor was created in 1947 after the partition of Bengal
Bengal
between India
India
and Pakistan
Pakistan
(former state of East Pakistan
Pakistan
, now independent Bangladesh
Bangladesh
).

IMPORTANCE

Although the Siliguri Corridor is an especially important and sensitive territory for India
India
, its location has created a political reality that is also important for Bangladesh
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 Corridor, which at one point is less than 17 miles (27 km) 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
Kolkata
, on the other side of the corridor. Between Sikkim
Sikkim
and Bhutan
Bhutan
lies the Chumbi Valley , a dagger-like slice of Tibetan territory. A Chinese military advance of less than 80 miles (130 km) would cut off Bhutan, part of West Bengal
West Bengal
and all of North-East India
India
, an area containing almost 50 million people. This situation arose during the war between India
India
and China
China
in 1962.

CURRENT SITUATION

As a sensitive area amidst three countries, the strip is heavily patrolled by the Indian Army
Indian Army
, the Assam Rifles
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.

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 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". 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 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 to Guwahati
Guwahati
in Assam
Assam
, which is the most critical highway in the region, owing to insurgents operating in the vicinity .

FREE TRADE ZONE PROPOSAL

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.

NOTES

* ^ 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 ">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
Mughal Empire
* British East India
India
Company * Siraj ud-Daulah * Battle of Plassey
Battle of Plassey
* Dutch India
India
* Bengal
Bengal
Presidency * Bengal
Bengal
Renaissance * Indian rebellion of 1857
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 (1947) * Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Liberation War * Naxalite movement * Nadia Raj

GEOGRAPHY

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

GOVERNANCE

* Chief Ministers * Governor * Legislative Assembly * Political parties (Communist Party (Marxist) * All India
India
Trinamool Congress * Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
) * Parliamentary constituencies * Assembly constituencies

Divisions border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* BURDWAN DIVISION

* Bankura
Bankura
* Birbhum * Hooghly * Jhargram * Paschim Bardhaman * Paschim Medinipur * Purba Bardhaman * Purba Medinipur * Purulia

* JALPAIGURI DIVISION

* Alipurduar * Cooch Behar
Cooch Behar
* Darjeeling
Darjeeling
* Jalpaiguri * Kalimpong

* MALDA DIVISION

* Dakshin Dinajpur * Maldah * Murshidabad
Murshidabad
* Uttar Dinajpur

* PRESIDENCY DIVISION

* Howrah * Kolkata
Kolkata
* Nadia * North 24 Parganas * South 24 Parganas

Cities and towns

* Alipore * Asansol
Asansol
* Baharampur
Baharampur
* Balurghat * Bankura
Bankura
* Barasat * Bardhaman * Bardhaman * Bishnupur * Chinsurah * Cooch Behar
Cooch Behar
* Darjeeling
Darjeeling
* Durgapur * English Bazar * Haldia * Howrah * Jalpaiguri * Kalimpong * Kharagpur * Kolkata
Kolkata
* Krishnanagar * Kurseong * Malda * Midnapore * Murshidabad
Murshidabad
* Purulia * Raiganj * Siliguri * Siuri * Tamluk * List of cities in West Bengal
West Bengal
* Cities and towns by district

CULTURE

* Bônggabdô (calendar) * Baul
Baul
* Bhadu * Gombhira * Chau dance * Cuisine * Rabindra Sangeet
Rabindra Sangeet
* Rabindra Nritya Natya * Dolyatra * Pohela Baishakh
Pohela Baishakh
* Durgapuja * Language * Literature * Cinema * Jatra * Ghosts in Bengali culture

DEMOGRAPHICS

* Bengali people
Bengali people
* Bihari people
Bihari people
* Gurkha
Gurkha
* Adivasi
Adivasi
* Anglo-Indian * Ethnic communities in Kolkata
Kolkata
* List of West Bengal
West Bengal
districts ranked by literacy rate

PEOPLE

* Rabindranath Tagore * Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
* Kazi Nazrul Islam
Kazi Nazrul Islam
* Anil Kumar Gain
Anil Kumar Gain
* Ritwik Ghatak * Subhas Chandra Bose
Subhas Chandra Bose
* Jamini Roy * Nandalal Bose * Jagdish Chandra Bose * Meghnad Saha * Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

Image gallery at Wikimedi

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