PESHAWAR: The Directorate of Archaeology, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has launched the restoration and renovation work of Bollywood legends Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor’s ancestral homes in the city after getting possession of the properties.
In the first step debris from both sites was removed and the houses were cleared for the restoration work.
Raj Kapoor’s ancestral home, known as Kapoor Haveli is situated at Dhakki Munawwar Shah and Dilip Kumar’s ancestral house is situated at Feelkhana Nawab Khan in Mohalla Khudad at the back of Qissa Khwani Bazaar.
As per government plans, the homes of both Bollywood stars would be restored to their original state.
The KP government had fixed Rs15 million price for the 6.25 marla Raj Kapoor House and Rs8 million for the four marla house of Dilip Kumar whose birth name was Mohammed Yusuf Khan.
The Kapoor Haveli’s owner Ali Qadir demanded Rs200 million and the owner of Kumar’s ancestral house Gul Rehman Mohmand was demanding the government should purchase it at the market rate of Rs35 million.
However, Deputy Commissioner Khalid Mehmud had overruled the objections of the owners of both the houses and transferred the ownership of both the houses to the Archaeological Department.
Later, the KP government last month handed over Rs 23million to Peshawar’s deputy commissioner for purchasing the two houses located in the heart of this city to convert them into museums. “The land (homes of Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor) will vest in the name of acquiring Department i.e. Director Archaeology and Museums,” a notification issued by the Deputy Commissioner’s office said.
“After formally getting the possession, the debris from both the houses have been removed to begin the restoration work,” said Director of Archaeology and Museums, Dr Abdul Samad while talking to The News.
He said in the first stage debris was removed and documentation and preparation of estimates started.
The director said the restoration and renovation work would take about two years to complete.
To a question, Dr Abdul Samad, who is presently in Germany on a visit, said the KP the Archaeology Department had the experts to carry out the restoration work and restore the heritage buildings to their original shape.
It is worth mentioning here that in May this year, the director, Archaeology had said the government would preserve both buildings to make the people aware of the great contributions made by Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor to the film industry. Both stars hailed from Peshawar who were born here and spent the early days of their life in these houses.
Raj Kapoor’s ancestral home, known as Kapoor Haveli, was built between 1918 and 1922 by the legendary actor’s grandfather Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor who was a police officer and served at the police station in Qissa Khwani as well.
Raj Kapoor and his uncle Trilok Kapoor were born in the building. It was declared national heritage by the provincial government.
Veteran actor Dilip Kumar’s over the 100-year-old ancestral house was also 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.
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