part of the club, located at 27.3 acres of land in Lutyens Delhi. As WSJ article writes: “Membership at the storied Gymkhana is highly sought after by Delhi’s rich and powerful, who enjoy tea in the alcoves off the ballroom, a dip in the Lady Willingdon Swimming Bath and maybe a whisky at the bar.” No wonder, waiting list for membership is about 100 years long! The club’s current president is road transport secretary and 1978 batch IAS Vijay Chhibber.
The club has 26 grass courts and seven synthetic courts with three of them flood-lit. It also has three squash courts, a covered swimming pool and a library probably with about 35,000 books, a dining hall with three bars, a restaurant and 43 transit cottages for its members.
Now, on controversies. Last month, Delhi government seized Gymkhana’s bank accounts on the ground that it had failed to pay about Rs 3 crore as luxury taxes. The club moved court and the issue got resolved after it had paid half of its outstanding luxury taxes. Delhi High Court allowed that the club could pay the rest at a later date.
Then, early this month, DPCC directed closure of the club, holding it responsible for wasting water, causing pollution and flouting environmental norms. The club got a stay order from the court.
It’s believed that the current row is not just about adherence of rules and procedures, but of rivalry and jealousy within senior bureaucracy.
Delhi Pollution Control Committee chairman Sanjiv Kumar is a 1992 batch IAS of AGMUT cadre and also a member of the club.
In fact, a large number of bureaucrats are members of the club. According to the selection criteria for government employees, only Class-I officers are allowed to apply for membership.
Besides Chhibber who is an IAS, the current governing body of the club has a number of officers, mostly retired. They include retired IIS officer Urmila Gupta, retired IRS officer Girish Sharma, retired Indian Postal Service officer Suneeta Trivedi.