The government has re-cast the fund allocated for Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) to focus on building more public toilets and urinals, two key areas that can put a check to open defecation, with no space for building toilets in many urban poor households.

The urban development (UD) ministry has woken up to the major flaw in the scheme almost two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched SBM to make India clean and open-defecation free by 2019. The government has set a target of building 1.04 core household toilets in urban areas by 2019. ... The step to rework the funding pattern was taken after surveys carried out by state governments found that many households in cities and towns do not have the space to build toilets, driving them to defecate in the open.

The finance ministry on Wednesday approved extending 40% viability gap funding (VGF) or a system to bridge a shortfall in finances for the construction of public toilets and urinals. Earlier urinals were not included in the Swachh Bharat programme and public toilets were to be built by 100% private funding.

The Centre only provided 40% VGF for constructing community toilets.

The finance ministry has now approved increasing the quantum of central funds for building solid waste management projects to 35% from the existing 20%.