The new Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways C.P. Joshi aims at ushering in transparency and accountability in execution of projects through a system of social networking using information technology.

Talking to reporters after assuming office and his first briefing with the Ministry officials on Thursday, Dr. Joshi mooted the idea of monitoring the quality of roads through a mechanism of social networking. The idea was to receive complaints from people through website.

Interestingly, the Minister laid stress on transparency and accountability that the Finance Ministry had stressed on in its mid-year appraisal, almost steering clear of the tug-of-war his predecessor, Kamal Nath, had with Planning Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Dr. Joshi refused to go into the controversy, saying he was not aware of what transpired between the two. The Planning Commission had directed the Ministry to downsize its plan.

The Minister took the stand that he would first take stock of the situation before taking any decision on whether it was possible to achieve the target of constructing 20 km of road a day, which the Planning Commission considered a bit too ambitious and beyond the government's means.

Restoring the glory of the National Highways Authority of India, which has been mired in corruption and running without a regular head, is one of Dr. Joshi's prime challenges.

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