Tehri Garhwal: A 2,350-km long 'Swachh Ganga' river rafting expedition of border guarding force ITBP was today flagged off by Union Minister Uma Bharti from the banks of the holy river in Uttarakhand.
The voyage is being undertaken by the force as part of its efforts to contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for cleaning the mighty river.
A ceremony was held in Dev Prayag in this district where Bharti handed over the expedition flag to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police team in the presence of the force's chief Krishna Chaudhary.
The Minister wished the team success.
The all-river journey will be undertaken by a skilled 30-member team of the adventure sports trained force and it will meander through five Ganga states and 49 cities in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal over a stretch of 2,350 km. It will end in the first half of December at Gangasagar in the Bay of Bengal, spanning 73 days.
During the exercise, the expedition team will collect polythene waste, pick samples of Ganga water and soil and will also document the presence of endangered Gangetic Dolphins and later submit these records to concerned authorities to ascertain the level of pollution in the river.
The team, as part of the 'Namami Gange' project, will also spread awareness about government initiatives like 'Beti Bachao, 'Beti Padhao' and 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'.
Heads of various state governments and Union Cabinet Ministers will felicitate the squad at various locations on the banks of Ganga in the coming days.