Pak owner of actor Dilip Kumar’s ancestral house refuses to sell it at govt rate

Haji Lal Muhammad, the owner, said he would demand ₹ 25 crore from the provincial government for the property as and when approached by the Peshawar administration

Last month, the provincial government fixed the price of Dilip Kumar's four marla (101 square metre) house, declared as a national heritage in Peshawar, at ₹ 80.56 lakh. Photo: PTI

The owner of legendary actor Dilip Kumar’s ancestral house in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has refused to sell it at a rate fixed by the government. He said he would demand ₹ 25 crore for the prime location property, which is severely undervalued by the authorities.

Last month, the provincial government fixed the price of the four marla (101 square metre) house, declared as a national heritage in Peshawar, at ₹ 80.56 lakh. ‘Marla’ is a traditional unit of area used in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is considered as equal to 272.25 square feet or 25.2929 square metres.

However, the owner, Haji Lal Muhammad, said he would demand ₹ 25 crore from the provincial government for the property as and when approached by the Peshawar administration.

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Muhammad said he had purchased the property in 2005 for ₹ 51 lakh after completing all formalities required for transfer of the land and possesses all the documents of the house.

He said it is unjust on the part of the government to fix the rate at ₹ 80.56 lakh for the property after 16 years.

The property is very expensive in Mohallah Khudadad qissa Khwani bazar where the rate of one Marla land is above ₹ 5 crore, he said, adding that he would demand ₹ 25 crore through his lawyer from the authorities for the house.

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“How can a four marla property be sold in the said area for ₹ 80 lakh?” he asked.

Earlier, the owner of the ancestral house of Bollywood actor Raj Kapoor demanded ₹ 200 crore for the six marla (151.75 square metre) property in Peshawar. The government had fixed the rate of the property at ₹ 1.50 crore.

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 here. The building, which is in shambles, has been declared a national heritage by the provincial government.

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister’s special assistant on information Kamran Bangash said last month that 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.

In January, the provincial government approved the release of ₹ 2.35 crore to purchase the ancestral houses of the two legendary actors located in the heart of this city.

The owners of the two buildings have 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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