KP govt allocates Rs50m for conservation of Kapoor Haveli, other historical buildings
A view of Kapoor Haveli in Peshawar.
The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has allocated Rs 50 million for the repair and renovation of 15 historical sites in the province including the Kapoor Haveli and Dilip Kumar’s house located in Peshawar’s historical Qissa Khwani Bazaar.
According to the reports, 15 historical sites including Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar’s ancestral homes are among the recently selected places that would be restored by the provincial government.
“The buildings’ ownership had been a long-standing hurdle in the way of their restoration. The buildings hold great historic value, due to which certain individuals had claimed their right over the historic properties and there had also been attempted demolitions in the past. But now that the Directorate of Archaeology and Tourism has decided to buy the building and start the long overdue renovation work, the buildings are also expected to open their doors to tourists in the near future,” an official of the archaeology department said.
Earlier, Federal Minister Shaheryar Afridi had promised to give the status of a museum to the ‘Kapoor Haveli’ soon after the present government of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party came into power in July 2018. However, the announcement to this effect could not be materialised despite a lapse of around two years.
The haveli is presently the property of a private person who made three/four attempts in the past to demolish the building but could not do it as FIRs were registered against him by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa heritage department.
The owner has now assured the government that he would not dismantle the building. However, due to frequent rains, hailstorms and earthquakes, the condition of the building has deteriorated from inside.
The ‘Kapoor Haveli’ was built by Basheswarnath Kapoor, the father of Bollywood icon Prithviraj Kapoor. The Kapoor family, originally from Peshawar in Pakistan, migrated to India after the partition in 1947.
In 1990, Rishi Kapoor along with brother Randhir Kapoor visited their ancestral home where his grandfather, Prithviraj and his father Raj Kapoor, were born. The news of Rishi Kapoor’s death sent a wave of sadness and grief among people in Peshawar. A lot of people visited the ‘Kapoor Haveli’ to express their grief and condolence over his demise.
“We had no relation with Rishi Kapoor, but had a liking for him because of watching him as a film hero from childhood and due to his connection with a place which is also a birthplace of me, said Pervaiz Ahmad, a city dweller.