The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa directorate of archaeology and museums on Tuesday took the possession of ancestral homes of Bollywood legends Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar inside the walled city of provincial capital.
The development came after the deputy commissioner of Peshawar issued a notification of the transfer of the ownership of both properties located in the old city to the archeology department during the day.
The provincial government had announced in Sept last year that it would acquire both properties and turn them into museums after restoration.
Director (archaeology) Dr Abdul Samad told Dawn that the directorate took possession of both properties from their current owners after their ownership was transferred to the provincial government.
“Now, both residences are officially the properties of the directorate of archaeology,” he said.
Dr Samad said the possession was taken following all legal procedures.
He said the directorate would start restoration and rehabilitation of both badly damaged properties before turning them into museums.
The director said the directorate would also contact members of both families about restoration.
He said the restoration of both properties and their subsequent turning into museums was aimed at restoring Peshawar city’s links with Bollywood.
Dr Samad said the directorate had also paid the determined price of both proprieties to the DC Peshawar for further payment to the owners.
Earlier in the day, the DC issued two notifications of the transfer of the ownership of both properties to the directorate of archaeology under the colonial era compulsory property acquisition law.
Under the award, Raj Kapoor’s haveli in Dhaki Dalgaran area was valued at Rs11.5 million and Dilip Kumar’s ancestral residence in Mohallah Khudad at Rs7.2 million.
Both properties have been valued at Rs1.5 million per marla.
The notifications said both homes would vest in the name of the directorate of archaeology ‘free from all encumbrances’.
The provincial government has long been eyeing the acquisition of both properties located in Mohallah Khudad and Dhaki Dalgaran area next to historic Qissa Khwani Bazaar.
In 2016, Raj Kapoor’s ancestral home was badly damaged by its current owner during demolition, which came to a halt due to the intervention of the archaeology directorate. However, the exercise destroyed the upper portion of the house and badly damaged rest of it.
Also, the Awami National Party government had tried to acquire Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home for preservation during its tenure in 2018-13. However, the price dispute hampered the bid leading to litigation during the last Pervez Khattak-led government.
In Oct 2015, the provincial government had informed the Peshawar High Court that it had dropped the plan of acquiring the house but declared it a protected antiquity stopping the owner from renovating it or making changes to it.
Published first in Dawn