LAHORE-The Ravi toll plaza, a gateway to Lahore, is likely to exempt residents of Shahdara from toll tax. The Punjab govt is giving serious thought to facilitate the people of Shahdara at the earliest. The Chief Secretary Javed Mehmood has constituted a committee to evolve a viable strategy to execute the exemption plan. The committee comprises Commissioner Lahore Division, DCO, Secretary Communication and Works, Chairman Task Force (Road), NHA Chairman and others. The sources privy to the development revealed that the committee had some proposals on its table in this regard. 'One important proposal is about to issue some special pass to the residents to avail the exemption from tax while second option is to shift the toll plaza away from the boundaries of Shahdara so that residents could not face the levy only on those hailing from other cities as per law',the sources added. It was further stated that people demanded toll tax exemption since the construction of Ravi Toll plaza also known as Shahdara Toll Plaza in 1967. But it was noticed seriously when PML-N chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif visited Shahdara a week ago. During the visit, the people of the area demanded of him to abolish the toll tax for the Shahdara's residents. The issue got more strength when MNA Malik Riaz (NA-118) in a meeting held at Jahangir Tomb attended by Chief Secretary, Commissioner and Secretary C & W, pleaded the case before authority concerned. The sources revealed that DCO Lahore Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta wrote a letter to Chairman NHA to facilitate the inhabitants of Shahdara by exempting them from toll tax at Ravi Bridge. The letter said that exemption plan was need of the hour as it would meet the long-standing demand of inhabitants of Shahdara. The sources said that in 2006, City Nazim Mian Amer Mehmood had also proposed for exempting Shahdara residents from paying toll tax at Ravi Bridge. He forwarded the proposal to the provincial govt for approval. But the move could not be materialised According to reports, toll tax at Shahdara toll plaza has recently been increased. The light vehicles including car is paying Rs 15 against Rs 10 in the past. Tax at heavy vehicles including bus and truck is Rs 100 against Rs 70 previously. The surge in the tax led to numerous scuffles between tax collectors at toll booths and riders of different vehicles. It is also pertinent to mention that there are three bridges on River Ravi. They are Sagian Bridge, Old Ravi Bridge and Shahdara bridge. Every bridge has a toll plaza. Sagian bridge and old Ravi have already been declared as tax free for the residents of Shahdara. While talking to DCO Lahore Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta, replied 'we have floated the proposal to end the toll tax for Shahdara citizen'. Chairman Task Force (Road) Khawaja Ahmed Hassan said that govt had taken up the issue to resolve the problem. He said that different proposals were being weighed up and the best would be put into practice. Malik Riaz, MNA from NA-118 that includes Shahdara, told The Nation that Punjab authorities built the Shahdara toll plaza in 1967 at the cost of approximately Rs 50 million He said that in past Shahdara people had a monthly pass costing Rs 30. The pass holder, he said, was exempted from toll tax. But later the facility was withdrawn, he maintained. . Majority of the residents, belonging to NA-118, a PML-N dominated constituency, expressed anger over the unfulfilled pledges and absence of the elected representatives from the constituency after attaining victory in the polls. In 1990, it was Humayun Akhtar Khan who won from the constituency, followed by Nawaz Sharif in 1993 and later former Punjab Governor Mian Muhammad Azhar in 1997.