The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial government in Pakistan has decided to buy the ancestral homes of legendary Bollywood actors Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar to preserve the historic buildings which are in poor condition and threatened with demolition.
The Department of Archeology of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province has decided to allocate sufficient funds for the purchase of the two buildings, which have been declared national heritage and are located in the heart of the city of Peshawar, an official said.
An official letter was sent to the deputy commissioner in Peshawar to determine the cost of the two historic buildings, where the two greats of Indian cinema were born and raised in their early days before the partition, said Dr Abdus Samad Khan, the chief of department of archeology.
Raj Kapoor’s ancestral home, known as Kapoor Haveli, is located in the legendary Qissa Khwani Bazar. It was built between 1918 and 1922 by the grandfather of legendary actor Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor. Raj Kapoor and his uncle Trilok Kapoor were born in the building. It has been declared a national heritage by the provincial government.
The ancestral home of veteran actor Dilip Kumar, more than 100 years old, is also located in the same locality. The house is in ruins and was declared a national heritage in 2014 by the then Nawaz Sharif government.
Mr Khan said the owners of the two buildings had made numerous attempts in the past to demolish them to build commercial plazas due to their prime location, but all such movements were stopped because the archaeological service wanted them. preserve taking into account their historical significance.
However, the owner of Kapoor Haveli, Ali Qadar, said he did not want to demolish the building and made many contacts with officials of the archeology department to protect and preserve this historic structure which is a national pride.
The owner requested Rs 200 crore from the KP government to sell it to the government.
In 2018, the Pakistani government decided to convert the Kapoor Haveli into a museum, responding to a request from Rishi Kapoor who died this year in Mumbai. However, the announcement to this effect could not materialize despite a period of approximately two years.
There are around 1,800 historic structures in Peshawar that are over 300 years old.
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