Peshawar: Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has determined the price of the ancestral houses of legendary Bollywood actors Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor. The houses of the two actors are situated in the heart of this city. The houses of Dilip Kumar Raj Kapoor has been set Rs 80,56,000 and Rs 1,50,00,000 respectively.
The provincial government in September decided to purchase their ancestral houses to conserve the historic buildings. They are in dilapidated condition and facing demolition threat. The two buildings have been declared as national heritage.
Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar Muhammad Ali Asghar, following a report of the Communication and Works Department, fixed the price of Dilip Kumar’s four Marla house and Raj Kapoor’s six Marla house. Marla, a traditional unit of area used in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is considered as equal to 272.25 square feet or 25.2929 square metres.
The archaeology department has sent a formal request to the provincial government for releasing over rupees two crore for purchasing both the historic buildings. It was in these buildings the two greats of Indian cinema were born and raised in their early days before Partition.
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 and his uncle Trilok Kapoor were born in the building.
Dilip Kumar’s over 100-year-old ancestral house is also located in the same locality. The house is in shambles and was declared as national heritage in 2014 by the then Nawaz Sharif government.
The owners of the two buildings made many attempts in the past to demolish them for constructing commercial plazas in view of their prime location. However, all such moves were stopped as the archaeology department wanted to preserve them.
However, the owner of ‘Kapoor Haveli’, Ali Qadar, in the past said that he did not want to demolish the building. He said he made many contacts with the archaeology department officials to protect and preserve this historic structure which is a national pride. The owner demanded Rs 200 crore from the provincial government to sell it out to the government.
In 2018, the Pakistan government decided to convert the ‘Kapoor Haveli’ into a museum. It heeded to a request by Rishi Kapoor who died this year in Mumbai. However, the announcement to this effect did not materialise.