Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is in contact with the owners of the ancestral houses of legendary Bollywood actors Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor to reach a settlement over the rate fixed for the purchase of the two historic buildings for converting them into museums, a senior official said on Saturday.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister's special assistant on information, Kamran Bangash, talking to mediapersons in Lahore, said he is hopeful that the provincial government would reach an amicable settlement with the owners of both the buildings for their purchase to convert them into archaeological museums as both structures have already been declared as national heritage buildings.
The provincial government early this month approved the release of Rs 2.35 crore to purchase the ancestral houses of the two legendary actors located in the heart of this city.
The price of Dilip Kumar’s four marla (101 square metre) house has been fixed for Rs 80.56 lakh while that of Raj Kapoor’s six marla house (151.75 square metre) for Rs 1.50 crore. Marla, a traditional unit of area used in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, is considered as equal to 272.25 square feet or 25.2929 square metres. After procurement, both the houses will be converted into a museum by the provincial archaeology department.
However, the owners of the ancestral houses have refused to sell the buildings at the rate fixed by the provincial government, saying the prime-location property has been severely undervalued.
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.
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 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.