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Tuesday April 23, 2024

Renovation of Dilip Kumar’s house yet to start

After getting possession, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government announced the conservation of Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor’s houses in Peshawar

By Arshad Aziz Malik
March 21, 2024
This image shows the late Bollywood star Dilip Kumar’s ancestral house in Peshawar. — Geo News/File
This image shows the late Bollywood star Dilip Kumar’s ancestral house in Peshawar. — Geo News/File

PESHAWAR: The conservation of the legendary late star of the Indian film industry, Dilip Kumar’s ancestral house in Peshawar has not yet started.

The house had been recognized as national heritage but despite promises, the KP government did not release funds to renovate it. The already dilapidated structure of the house is about to collapse due to heavy rains.

Mohammed Yusuf Khan, known professionally as Dilip Kumar, was born in 1922 in the house located in Mohallah Khudadad on the backside of Qissa Khwani Bazaar in the Peshawar city. He spent his initial 12 years there before leaving for India in 1932. The house was declared Pakistan’s national heritage by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on July 13, 2014. Dilip Kumar visited his house once and sentimentally kissed the soil.

After getting possession, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government announced the conservation of Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor’s houses in Peshawar. Earlier, the ownership of both houses had been transferred to the director of KP’s Archaeology and Museum Department. In 2020, the KP government decided to convert both houses into museums. The Peshawar deputy commissioner set the price of Kumar’s house at Rs8.56 million. Kumar’s house consists of four marlas. Similarly, the price of Kapoor’s house had been fixed at Rs15 million, which consists of six marlas and is located in Dhaki Dalgaran.

Shakeel Waheedullah Khan, a social worker and secretary of Heritage Council KP, told this correspondent that the recent deterioration of Kumar’s house pointed to the government’s failure to allocate resources for its preservation. Despite assurances from previous governments, not a single penny has been allocated to safeguard the historic property, which was constructed in 1880. He said despite promises, no tangible action had been taken to shield the heritage from natural disasters.

Dr Abdul Samad, director of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums KP, told The News that the concept note was already sent to the government for approval. The PC-1 will be prepared after the budget is approved. This could not be approved last time as there was no fund and flood-damaged sites were the priority. “The total rough cost for conservation of Dilip Kumar’s house is around Rs100 million,” he said, adding that the ownership was transferred to the department and a payment was made two years ago to the deputy commissioner for further disbursement as per law.

The director said that in the last two years, there had been no new project approved for archaeology due to financial crises. Also, ongoing projects are suspended, only the Masjid Mohabat Khan Project is on. He said that after the acquisition, the department had completed conservation plans and documentation but was waiting for financial stability.