New Delhi: ITBP troops will embark on a 2,350-km long 'Swachh Ganga' river rafting expedition next month as part of efforts to contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call of cleaning the holy river.
The expedition will be flagged off on Gandhi Jayanti from Dev Prayag in Uttarakhand by Union Minister Uma Bharti and it will conclude its journey in December in the Bay of Bengal, spanning 73 days.
The all-river voyage will be undertaken by a skilled 30-member team of the adventure sports trained force and meander through five Ganga states and 49 cities in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal in a stretch of 2,350 km.
"This is a big drive that we have undertaken after the Prime Minister gave a call for Swachh Ganga. During the journey, the teams will document the presence of the endangered Gangetic dolphins and collect polythene waste to be disposed off properly," ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary said while briefing journalists here.
He added the expedition team will also collect Ganga water and soil samples and submit them to laboratories to ascertain the level of pollution in the river.
The DG said the teams have been properly trained to take these samples from affluent affected areas of the mighty river as the last time there were some mistakes in doing so.
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.
The expedition will end at Ganga Sagar in West Bengal in the first half of December.
Raised in 1962, the ITBP is tasked to guard the icy Indo-China border.