New Delhi: Oscar Fernandes on Tuesday took charge as Minister of Road Transport and Highways and said he will work towards getting speedy environment clearances for the projects which are stuck.

"We should get the clearances in advance so that the work can be started. Where ever the project has got stuck, we will take it up with the Ministry of Environment and Forests and try to clear it." Fernandes said.

Fernandes replaces CP Joshi, who relinquished his post earlier this week to concentrate on party work. Joshi was holding dual portfolios of Road and Railways Ministries. "I will take his (Joshi's) guidance and the department is there to guide me," Fernandes said.

"I have personal interest in road construction since my childhood, its an area which is known to me, as a youth Congress worker I have participated in road building programmes," he said.

Fernandes further added that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a committee to expedite clearances for the road projects. The mandate of the high-level committee is to facilitate clearance for projects of national importance.

(Agencies)

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