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Up to four decades' wait at Capital's elite clubs.

IT'S AN unending wait for membership at the Capital's two elite clubs and going by the waiting period, for some it may not end in their lifetime.

The waiting period at the prestigious Delhi Gymkhana, which was about 25 years till 2016, has gone up to 37 years and nearly 3,000 applicants are in the wait list. Almost same is the case with the Delhi Golf Club. Besides, what is more pinching for wannabe club

Continued from Page 1 members is the steep hike in waiting fee.

Both these clubs just admit 60- 70 members every year as per vacancies.

A written correspondence between a wait list applicant and Gymkhana administrators accessed by M AIL T ODAY states: " The waiting period fee, which was earlier fixed at ` 1 lakh, is now raised to ` 7.5 lakh. Failing to pay within 30 days of receiving the written communication, the name would be removed from the wait list period." The aspirant had applied in 1994 and is still awaiting his turn to enjoy the lush green lawns and fine dining.

The letter signed by Gymkhana secretary Air Commodore Harjit S Sassan reads: " In case, you do not wish to pay the above mentioned amount, kindly let us know and collect your initial deposit." Insiders say the " unexpected" waiting fee hike has been " enforced to declog the wait list as many are expected to take their initial deposit refund". The normal fee for payment in government category is ` 4.5 lakh while in non- government category, it is ` 18.91 lakh. So whether you are in the government or non- government category, the increased waiting fee may deter some club aspirants who would wish to quit and take back the money, hint Gymkhana insiders.

The club, which started in 1913, has a total membership of 14,000 people. Nearly five to six per cent took membership in early 1950s and 1960s.

The long wait for Gymkhana is also blamed on the overcrowding done in the name of " green card holders", who were earlier dependents of primary members and now grown up adults above 21 years. There are nearly 6,000 of them in the Gymkhana books. " Ideally, they should have come through the normal wait route to let the first of the wait list move ahead. In the non- government category, the first wait list is since 1979, while in the government sector, it is as early as 1997," a source added.

In Delhi Golf Club, the membership scenario is almost on the same lines as Gymkhana, but the club is in no mood to hike the waiting fee, which is currently at 10 per cent of the membership fee that comes to ` 1 lakh. " We have no such plans as Gymkhana and this is a big relief to the 3,000- odd members. Nearly the same number is in the waiting, which is now between 35 to 40 years," says a top Golf Club office bearer.

The situation at Delhi's other two top social institutions -- India International Centre ( IIC) and India Habitat Centre -- is, however, different.

" We don't charge a waiting fee," says a top office bearer of IIC, which has about 6,500 members. The IIC got about 14,000 to 15,000 applications last time it opened membership in 2014, but it admitted only about 1,200.

IHC's former director Raj Liberhan told M AIL T ODAY : " We don't have a waiting period, nor do we charge any fee other than application fee. We open memberships as and when we get vacancies. Last time, the IHC got about 8,000 to 9,000 applications and it filled about 600 to 700 membership slots." Ideally, they should have come through the normal wait route to let the first of the wait list move ahead. In the non- government category, the first wait list is since 1979 while in the government sector, it is as early as 1997.

' ' -- SOURCES Delhi Gymkhana ( pictured) and Delhi Golf Club admit 60- 70 members every year.

Insiders claim the fee hike has been enforced to declog the wait list

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:May 16, 2017
Words:700
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