CBI may probe DB Realty, Unitech real estate projects

Unitech and DB Realty, the two realty firms allegedly involved in the 2G scam, are likely see their troubles mount with their real estate projects expected to come under the CBI scanner. The companies' real estate projects were cleared by former telecom minister A Raja during his tenure as environment minister from 2004 to 2007.

According to CBI sources, Unitech and DB Realty (whose telecom arm Swan Telecom is alleged to have offered kickbacks in the 2G scam) had obtained environmental clearances for some of their key projects during disgraced former telecom minister A Raja's tenure. According to a CBI official these clearances could be linked to the 2G spectrum scam too.

According to sources, Raja had granted clearances at the instance of R K Chandolia, then director of planning and coordination in the environment ministry, who later became Raja's personal secretary in the telecom ministry.

The CBI said as many as 2,016 projects received environmental clearances over a period of just two years and Vinod Goenka and Shahid Balwa, promoters of DB Realty, had benefited the most from the clearances.

According to the CBI officials, the link between the realty companies and Raja probably went back to his previous tenure as the minister of environment.

''This unholy friendship culminated in all these companies getting the clearance certificate to their future projects,'' the official said, adding that the friends in the real estate community were asked to apply for 2G spectrum which was seen as a very lucrative business.