Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government has initiated the process to take formal custody of the ancestral houses of legendary Bollywood actors Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor located in the heart of this city to convert them into museums.
Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Khalid Mehmud on Wednesday issued final notices to the present owners of the historic buildings and summoned them on 18 May.
The owners can submit their reservations over the prices of the Havelis fixed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government. The provincial government or court may order an increase in the prices of the houses.
Previously the KP government had fixed the price for purchase of Kapoor’s 6.25-marla and Kumar’s four-marla houses for Rs 1.50 crore and Rs 80 lakh, respectively, with plans to convert them into museums.
Marla, a traditional unit of area used in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, is considered equal to 272.25 square feet or 25.2929 square metres.
While Kapoor Haveli’s owner Ali Qadir demanded Rs 20 crore, the owner of Kumar’s ancestral house, Gul Rehman Mohmand, said the government should purchase it at the market rate of Rs 3.50 crore.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Archaeology and Museums Department Director Dr Abdul Samad said the restoration work will take place after Eid-ul-Fitr following the takeover of the two houses.
Raj Kapoor’s ancestral home, known as Kapoor Haveli, is situated in the fabled Qissa Khwani Bazar. It was built between 1918 and 1922 by the legendary actor’s grandfather Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor.
Raj Kapoor and his uncle Trilok Kapoor were born in the building. It has been declared national heritage by the provincial government.
Veteran actor Dilip Kumar’s over a 100-year-old ancestral house is also located in the same locality.
The house is in shambles and was declared as a national heritage in 2014 by the then Nawaz Sharif government.
The owners of the two buildings made several attempts in the past to demolish them for constructing commercial plazas in view of their prime location but all such moves were stopped as the archaeology department wanted to preserve them, keeping in view their historic importance. (PTI)