Welcome to Lahore, Shahdara


Shahdara Toll Plaza, also known as Ravi Toll Plaza, will be relocated today at Kala Shah Kaku after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will announce to shift the toll plaza to Kala Shah Kaku to fulfil the long-standing demand of the people.
With the relocation, Shahdara will no more be a locality separate from Lahore and people will not have to pay tax to enter and exit Lahore City from Shahdara. Erection of Shahdara Toll Plaza that divided Lahore from Shahdara on 1967 was similar to that of Berlin Wall that bifurcated Germany into West Germany and East Germany. “Shifting of toll plaza is a landmark move which will be remembered all days to come,” Rehan Guddu, a resident of Shahdara told Pakistan Today. “We will mark February 3 as “Freedom Day” with the same spirit as the people of Berlin celebrate Berlin Wall Fall”, he added.
PPP leader and chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board Asif Hashmi said the PPP government had promised to get Shahdara people rid of the toll plaza and the premier would fulfil this commitment today. He said the people of NA-118, which covered a highly populated area comprising several colonies situated near the Ravi bed, were grateful of the president and the prime minister for facilitating them.
There are three bridges on River Ravi – Sagian Bridge, Old Ravi Bridge and Shahdara Bridge. Every bridge has a toll plaza and now all of them have been declared as tax-free for the residents of Shahdara.
The people have been demanding to shift Ravi Toll Plaza since its construction in 1967 at the cost of approximately Rs 50 million. In 2006, former city nazim Mian Amer Mehmood had also proposed for exempting Shahdara residents from paying toll tax at Ravi Bridge. He had forwarded the proposal to the provincial govt for approval but the move could not be materialised. The issue was noticed seriously when PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had visited Shahdara in 2009. The public demand got more strength when MNA Malik Riaz (NA-118) in a meeting held at Jahangir Tomb attended by the chief secretary, commissioner and secretary C & W pleaded the case before authority concerned.
Sources revealed the then Lahore DCO Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta had written a letter to the NHA chairman to facilitate the inhabitants of Shahdara by exempting them from toll tax at Ravi Bridge. The then chief secretary Javed Mehmood had also constituted a committee to evolve a viable strategy to execute the exemption plan. Finally in January 2010, President Asif Ali Zardari exempted Shahdara residents from payment of toll tax. In May 2011, Prime Minister Gilani again issued fresh orders of relocating the Ravi Toll Plaza. Syed Asif Hashmi said he had sent the recommendation to the prime minister who termed it a very important issue and directed immediate action to relocate the toll plaza. Matters relating to relocation of River Ravi Toll Plaza at Shahdara (N-5) were also brought under consideration in the 208th executive board meeting held at NHA Headquarters which was presided over by National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi in October 2011. However, no progress could be made in this regard.
Ravi Toll plaza is situated at the property of federal government and the National Highway Authority is its custodian. The basic reason behind the demand to relocate Ravi Toll Plaza is a big traffic gridlock due to number of police pickets established for security reasons. People have to wait almost one hour or more to pass through the toll plaza. Given the perturbed situation, rush of vehicles has poured into another route inside Farrukabad and Saeed Park as this route helps traffic to reach Ravi bridge without passing through Shahdara Toll Plaza. With the new development, both localities now face frequent traffic blockage which made them demand immediate relocation of Ravi Toll Plaza.


  1. Thanks………………….
    …………………………………To Allah…………………………………

  2. good move, just wondering what happens to those people coming from GT Road direction and never cross the any of ravi bridges but turn right on the Sheikhupura Road. This will not be fair for them to pay the toll at Kala Shah Kaku!!

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