Regarding boundaries, geography presents a plethora of challenges classified as cartographic anxieties if not properly managed. These can amplify into strategic vulnerabilities like the shiligory Corridor. One such vulnerability is a shaky link between eight northeast states and a Gateway for more than 50 million people in the region. This 200-kilometre stretch with widths ranging from 17 to 60 kilometres is aptly named chicken’s neck and covers an area of approximately 12 203 square. Kilometres tetulia Corridor, the narrowest four-kilometre strip towards the Western Edge, is wedged between Nepal and Bangladesh.
The Corridor’s Eastern end is wider and borders Bhutan and Bangladesh. The chumbi valley, which tapers into the dollar docalam Plateau, is only 100 kilometres away, as evidenced by Wikipedia’s claim. The narrowest point is 27 kilometres, which is closer to the average width. Sikkim was previously located on the Northern side of the Corridor until its Union with India. In 1975,
And this provided India with a buffer to the north of the shiligary Corridor and solidified India’s control over the chumbi Valley’s western side.
The chicken’s neck is critical, as it is not very far off from the Tibet border, not only the shiligary Corridor, critical for inclusive transport-led growth in India’s Northeastern region, but it is also critical from a security standpoint. According to official sources, China is strengthening connectivity and increasing its depth in the chumbi Valley of the Tibet autonomous region, close to India’s strategic and vulnerable shiligory Corridor. The Department of Defense noted in its recently released annual report 2021 to the United States Congress on Military and security developments involving the People’s Republic of China that, despite ongoing diplomatic and Military dialogues to reduce border tensions, the PRC has continued to take incremental and tactical actions. To press its claims at the line of actual control, China is constructing an alternative axis in the chumbi valley near the shiligary Corridor. They are expanding their reach by building roads through the Bhutanese Territory.
Last year, high-resolution satellite images revealed that China was constructing roads through Bhutanese Territory along the torsa river officials stated that by doing so, it was securing its roots while putting pressure on the shiligary Corridor, which was critical for India. According to a defence official. A recent memorandum of understanding between Bhutan and China for Expediting Bhutan, China boundary negotiations was significant and could have implications for India. This is a three-step road map to speed up their talks on Boundary resolution. China has claimed approximately 89 square kilometres in the area, allowing it to have more Territory in a narrow area jutting towards the shiligary Corridor while speaking to Media Lieutenant General M. Pandey, the Eastern Commander recently described shiligary as sensitive.
He observed that the geostrategic significance of the Siliguri Corridor came about in terms of it being a narrow piece of land that connects the Northeast to the rest of the country through which major national highways, Railway line pipelines, offshore cable connectivity and the rest pass. And another aspect, according to Lieutenant General Pandey, was the demography and its Dynamics in that area, where there were different demographic compositions and demographic groups who resided there, as well as related challenges of radicalization and separatist Tendencies, whose activities can be inimical to India’s security interests. In an effort to address this issue, Lieutenant General Manoj Pandey told the media that they have set up a joint coordinating Center under the army, and that has proven to be effective in coordinating actions of all agencies that work in the region and at the national level. A thought process is underway to look at alternative means of economic activity and others to mitigate the threats to the shiligory Corridor.
He said India had taken a multi-pronged approach to strengthen the security and defence of the strategically important chaligary Corridor, while some steps have already been taken. More are planned in the future recruitment drive for the pla. According to intelligence reports, the PLA conducted a month-long recruitment Drive in chumbi Valley in August, recruiting approximately 400 Tibetans. According to one official Who provided input, the goal was to recruit at least one Tibetan aged 18 to 40 from each household into the pla militia. The new recruits from fari, zung and yatung will receive one-year training at pla facilities in Lhasa, said the official.
He added that after the training, they would most likely be deployed along the India-china border. Previously, in July 2021, the pla held a recruitment Drive in the shekin hay area of the ingari prefecture, which borders Eastern Ladakh. The recent recruitment of Tibetans into its ranks is significant in light of the current standoff, which began last August when the Indian army used the special Frontier Force, which included Tibetans, to dominate some peaks in the Kailash range on the South Bank of pingongso lake. On the Indian side of the LAC Village in disputed Territory, the dod annual report revealed China’s continued buildup along the LAC sometime in 2020; the PRC built a large 100-home civilian Village inside disputed Territory between the PRC’s Tibet, an autonomous region and India’s state of Arunachal Pradesh. In the Eastern sector of the LAC, in response to questions about the Chinese model, Villages near the LAC, Lieutenant General Pandey stated the concern was the Dual use: nature, civil and Military of these villages.
He said we had taken these into account in our operational plans. India is also considering a plan to populate the Border areas along the LAC with locals. According to the dod report, Beijing claiming that its deployments near the LAC were in response to Indian provocation, refused to withdraw any forces until India’s forces withdrew behind the PRC’s version of the LAC and ceased infrastructure. Improvements in the area strategically chicken’s neck is the weak point. In defence of almost 2 000 kilometres of borders in the northeastern states with China and Myanmar, this stretch of land is about 60 kilometres long but only 22 kilometres wide at its narrowest point.
The Patch’s flat terrain, devoid of any natural or man-made obstacles, makes defence a real challenge during any conflict. This 2 000 square kilometre stretch of land will undoubtedly be the enemy’s first and most important Target. Naturally, the Road Corridor that runs through this narrow Corridor becomes a vital piece of land that must be protected at all costs.
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