A good way to answer this question is to look at the annual Swachh Bharat Mission Rankings. Swachh Bharat (meaning Clean India) Mission is a flagship program of the government of India launched in 2015 that aims to make cities in India cleaner with a set target to make India Open Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2018.
This flagship, ambitious Mission is supported with campaigns,awareness programs, Non-government organizations and community based organizations.
Films like Toilet Ek Prem Katha has brilliantly portrayed the intricacies of the problem rooted in traditions and cultural practices.
The main challenge for successful implementation of this program is not just building adequate number of toilets. Question is how many people will use them. Second, the municipal authority is unable to address the problem of ODF on its own.
It requires coordination and cooperation of other important government departments like the Railways.
For instance, in Lucknow, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation is trying hard to stop people from using vacant land within railway boundary for defecating. As a result, Lucknow city is likely to lose out on Swachh Bharat Rankings in 2018 as it is yet to declare Open Defecation Free (ODF).
ODF parameter carries 150 marks in the SBM 2018 rankings. Last year Lucknow scored zero out of 150. If the city can declare itself ODF and this is found true during spot checking, the Centre will give 75 marks. Cities stand to lose in terms of negative marking from the Centre if claims are found false.