After 55 years, India will inaugurate a new railway line with Bangladesh to save its ‘Chicken’s Neck’ from China
- India and Bangladesh are set to inaugurate a new railway line that will resume trans-border railway connectivity between the two countries after 55 years.
- It will also serve as a way for India to bolster its connectivity to Chicken’s Neck, also called the
Siliguri Corridor, that connects the rest of the country to the eight northeastern states.
- The slender transit zone is flanked by China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
AdvertisementIndia and Bangladesh are set to inaugurate a new railway line that will connect West Bengal to Chilahati across the border on December 16. On paper, the route will serve to improve trade and trans-border railway connectivity will resume between the two countries after a gap of five decades.
But, on the ground, the 75-kilometre long railway line will bring the rest of India a little closer to the ‘Chicken’s Neck’, also called the Siliguri Corridor, to counter China’s growing aggressiveness in the North East.
According to the Lowly Institute, it’s integral that India saves its Chicken’s Neck from China — especially considering that it’s already locked in a face-off against the dragon in Eastern Ladakh.
The thin stretch of land gets its name from being only 22-kilometres wide. And, it will be less than 100 kilometres from the new railway line.
The narrow bridge of land is the only connection between the rest of India and its eight north-eastern states. At the same time, the slender transit zone is flanked by China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
‘Chicken’s Neck’ is a point of strategic anxiety for India
In the past, Nath-La Pass and
The strategic anxiety around the region is only heightened by China’s continued road and airstrip construction activities on its side of the border, which could allow it to mobilise rapidly in the region.
Cognizant of the threat, the area is constantly patrolled by a number of entities including the Indian Army, the Assam Rifles, the Border Security Force, and the West Bengal Police. India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is also known to closely monitor activity in the region as well.
India is also looking at fast-tracking the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India Nepal (BBIN) initiative which will boost connectivity among the South Asian neighbours through rail and road.
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