Ganga River route
Route of River Ganga through the states

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police, who are responsible for guarding India's border with China on Friday, set sail on a unique mission -- 'to clean the river Ganga'.

According to media reports, the "46-member-team will embark upon a journey of 2,350 kms along the Ganga River in five states namely Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and ending in West Bengal. The river-rafting expedition team is headed by ITBP commandant Surendra Khatri".

Earlier this week, in a briefing to journalists, ITBP Director Krishna Chaudhry (DG) said: "During the journey, the team will document the presence of the endangered Gangetic dolphins and collect polythene waste to be disposed of properly."

He further added, "The expedition team would also be collecting Ganga water and soil samples, which would be sent to laboratories to determine the level of pollution in the river and the soil."

Praising the contribution of the team for a 'cleaner Ganga', Union minister Uma Bharti flagged off the ITBP expedition team on Friday from Devprayag in Uttrakhand.

The week states that "as part of the Namami Ganga Project, the expedition team will also document the entire experience, and will also spread awareness about the government's schemes such as 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' and 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao'."

The team will be felicitated by governors and union ministers of various states when they conclude their expedition at Ganga Sagar, West Bengal, in early December.