Locals said the bridges, mostly used by a large number of pedestrians, have been in this state for the past 30 years, but the authorities concerned has turned a blind eye to fix the problem. With rust grown them over the years, both the bridges have many parts damaged.
The 200-year-old iron bridge on the Tangon River on the western side of the city is the gateway to Shilpakala Academy, a diabetes hospital, Thakurgaon Government College, BADC farm, local office of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, and Lokayon Museum.
Although authorities have hung a signboard declaring the bridge unsafe, passersby and light vehicles use it every day. Its slabs are shaky while the railings and pillars have long been in shabby state. The situation is so worse that the slabs jump upwards whenever any vehicle plies the bridge.
Thakurgaon Government College Principal Professor Dr. Md. Golam Kibria Mondal said: “Students of the college have to walk two kilometers more to avoid the risk of using the bridge. It is very time-consuming for the 2,000 students, teachers and employees of the college.”
Three students-- Mostafiz, Mimi and Arif-- of the college said they passed the last two years amid huge risk of an accident.
One of them said they, at one stage, got habituated to seeing the warning signboard of Roads and Highways Department (RHD).
Abul Hossain, a trader from the city’s College Para area, said: “My school-goer son travels by the bridge daily, which I myself also tread when I go to the city to buy products for my shop.”
Meanwhile, the Bailey bridge on the northern part of the city is used by around one lakh people, especially including the students of Abul Hossain Sarkar College, Riverview High School, CM Aiyub Girls School, Government Boys School, Government Girls School and Government Girls College.
Defying the RHD warning, heavy vehicles regularly use the bridge since there is no alternative route.
Contacted, Thakurgaon RHD Assistant Engineer Motahar Hossain said, “We have submitted a budget proposal to the higher authorities for repairing the two bridges.
“We will start repairing as soon as we are allocated the fund,” he said.