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Manoj Sharma

Manoj Sharma is Metro Features Editor at Hindustan Times. He likes to pursue stories that otherwise fall through the cracks.

Articles by Manoj Sharma

Billboards: Cluttering urban eyeline, posing life threat

The tragedy in Mumbai starkly exposed the perilous and unregulated nature of these towering structures

The spot in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, where a large hoarding came crashing down, killing 16 people. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT)
Updated on May 20, 2024 01:23 AM IST

Ever-shifting colours of public transport in cities

Experts say frequent changes in colour schemes of public transport vehicles can create confusion for commuters, and ultimately dilute a city’s unique identity

In Delhi, buses come in colours including red, indigo, orange, green, and light blue. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 06, 2024 05:16 AM IST

Urban apathy? Metros grapple with poor voter turnouts

India’s major cities face low voter turnout in elections despite being hubs of progress. Efforts underway to boost participation and civic duty.

According to data from the Election Commission, 17 out of 50 Lok Sabha seats with the lowest voter turnout in the 2019 elections polls were located in metropolitan cities. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 22, 2024 04:40 AM IST

Adaptive reuse of old, decaying buildings in metros across India

Driven by a need for sustainable development, preservation of heritage, and innovative space use, some cities are reusing old buildings instead of razing them

The Dhan Mill Compound at Chhatarpur in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 08, 2024 04:07 PM IST

What is in a logo? Mysuru and Bengaluru hope to give us the answer

These two Indian cities alone have logos, though many others have sobriquets. Done right, it can offer a unifying symbol to bring people together

Mysuru Logo(Sourced)
Updated on Apr 02, 2024 07:33 AM IST

Transforming railway stations into new city centres

India is transforming colonial-era railway stations into modern city centres under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme, reshaping the city-station relationship.

The Gandhinagar Capital railway station in Gujarat. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 18, 2024 05:36 AM IST

Urban Agenda | Beyond Google Maps: How a signage system shapes our cities

Effective signage is essential for wayfinding, it also plays an important part in a city's branding. There is no standardisation of road signage across cities

A file photo of the signage on Jai Singh Road. In Gurmukhi, the road’s name is spelled as “Jai Saghi Road”(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 11, 2024 11:16 AM IST

To a new urban sprawl — Dwarka expressway

The Dwarka expressway, a central government initiative in Gurugram, has transformed into a microcity with rising property rates and luxury housing segments.

The Dwarka Expressway in Gurugram’s Sector 102 in February 2024. (Vipin Kumar/HT photo)
Updated on Mar 04, 2024 05:46 AM IST

In India, the city square makes a comeback

Over the decades, most city squares in India lost their essence as vibrant hubs of urban life, devolving into mere traffic nodes

The Flora Fountain at Hutatma Chowk in Mumbai on February 8. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
Updated on Feb 12, 2024 06:14 AM IST

India’s cities are transforming their waterfronts

The riverfront has quickly become a popular attraction for both locals and tourists, with approximately 10,000 people visiting it daily

Cities across the country are rediscovering the potential of their waterfronts, and transforming them into vibrant public spaces that blend business, culture, and recreation. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 29, 2024 03:52 PM IST

Reshaping our cities, one bite at a time

The neglect towards food is changing with cities working towards creating sustainable, efficient, and inclusive food systems

Reshaping our cities, one bite at a time
Updated on Jan 08, 2024 05:14 AM IST

Once a key business street, Asaf Ali road now a derelict road

A sought after address by businesses in 1950s and 1980s, Asaf Ali Road in central Delhi, is now a picture of civic apathy

Asaf Ali Road was once Delhi’s most bustling financial district because before the office high-rises around Connaught Place came up in the 1970s (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 11, 2023 11:06 AM IST

Libraries seeing revival under Smart Cities mission

Cities in India are investing in the revitalisation and digitalisation of libraries to improve cultural, intellectual and academic vitality. More than 80 digital libraries have been developed as part of the Smart City Mission, including the Modern Doon Library in Dehradun and the Nalanda Parisar Oxy Reading Zone Library in Raipur. The Allahabad Government Public Library in Prayagraj is also undergoing a revamp. These libraries are not only offering a diverse range of academic resources but are also becoming centres of community engagement and cultural activities.

Revamp work in progress at the 160-year-old Allahabad Government Public Library. (Sheeraz Rizvi/ HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 27, 2023 06:04 AM IST

Double-decker buses making a comeback in India

Hyderabad and Kolkata have already brought these giants on wheels back on the streets, with Ahmedabad and Bengaluru in the process of doing the same

Mumbai has made the switch to electric double-decker buses, with 40 already on the roads; (right, below) They were first introduced in Mumbai in 1937. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Archive)
Updated on Nov 06, 2023 08:15 AM IST

Turning clock towers back to past glory

Clock towers, once iconic city landmarks, are being restored and revived in cities across India. Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Karimnagar, and Srinagar are among the cities restoring their historic clock towers, while Mysuru and Chennai are planning restoration projects. Vintage clock restorers are experiencing a surge in demand, but some cities are opting for modern electronic GPS-enabled clocks. Clock towers in India were built during the mid-19th and early 20th centuries and were symbols of progress and urban development. They are now being recognized as integral parts of a city's heritage and identity.

As the decades passed, the vagaries of weather and time took their toll on many of these iconic city landmarks. (HT Archive)
Updated on Oct 23, 2023 04:54 PM IST

New infra brings Dwarka sub-city back in demand

Over the past decade, Dwarka has transformed from a suburb saddled with myriad civic problems into one of the most sought-after addresses in the Capital

Several malls have popped up across Dwarka. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 09, 2023 06:06 AM IST

Cities switching to robots to tackle water, sanitation issues

Indian cities are increasingly using AI-powered robots to tackle water and sanitation challenges. Robots are being deployed for tasks such as cleaning manholes, inspecting water pipelines for leaks, and clearing trash from water bodies. Start-ups led by young engineers are at the forefront of developing these robotic solutions. These robots offer sustainable solutions and eliminate the need for humans to work in highly hazardous environments. They also help improve the efficiency of water distribution networks and address water pollution issues. The use of robotics and AI in urban ecosystems is seen as transformative and has the potential to create autonomous cities in the future.

The Bandicoot robot being used to clean a manhole in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. (SOURCED)
Updated on Sep 26, 2023 04:14 PM IST

How two global events left a mark on Delhi

The 9th Unesco general conference in 1956, and the Asia 72 global fair in 1972 gave the Capital three modern icons synonymous with Delhi.

India undertook a massive redevelopment of what was then known as Exhibition Grounds to set up Pragati Maidan hosting the Asia 72, an international trade fair.(HT Archive)
Published on Sep 04, 2023 10:04 AM IST

Old Delhi’s havelis now reborn as new cultural centres of city

In the three months since its opening, Kathika has become one of the most popular cultural spots by hosting book readings, poetry recitations, workshops

A Kathak performance at the Kathika cultural centre. (HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 27, 2023 11:57 PM IST

Indian cities using QR codes for services

QR codes are essentially two-dimensional barcodes that can store information, and cities across India have begun using them for a host of purposes.

A Delhi Metro passenger shows his QR code-based ticket on his mobile. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Published on Aug 07, 2023 05:09 AM IST

Cities across India are remaking their streets

The idea behind the redevelopment of these streets is to make them spaces that are attractive, accessible, and prioritise the safety and mobility of all users

The redeveloped road stretch between Dhaula Kuan and Moti Bagh in New Delhi. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Updated on Jul 23, 2023 11:40 PM IST

Chronicling the living heritage of India's cities

A growing community of architecture and history buffs documenting on Instagram the built heritage of their cities across India

Abu Sufiyan, who runs the Instagram page Purani Dilli Waley, which is dedicated to Delhi’s people, culture, and heritage, at a haveli in Chandni Chowk in New Delhi on Friday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Updated on Jul 10, 2023 05:37 PM IST

Cities reclaim space under flyovers

Indore pioneered the concept in 2021, when it set up an exclusive sports complex under the Pipliyahana flyover, but many other cities across the country seem to have taken cue

The sports facility under Navi Mumbai’s Sanpada flyover is already a hit with local residents. (Bachchan Kumar/ HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 29, 2023 04:17 PM IST

Town halls, symbols of civic pride, see revival

Built between the early 19th to the early 20th centuries, most of these colonial mansions built in Greco-Roman style, have been restored over the past few years

The Town Hall in Chandni Chowk in New Delhi, a yellow brick-and-stone building with carved white trims, was built in 1863 and bought by the municipality in 1866. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 19, 2023 06:01 PM IST

Bhiwadi: NCR’s low-cost industry, housing hub

Once a sleepy village in Rajasthan’s Alwar, Bhiwadi — located 70km from Delhi’s Connaught Place — has over the past two decades emerged as one of the biggest industrial hubs in NCR

Property prices have remained stagnant in Bhiwadi because of a real estate boom due to which supply has far outstripped demand, as well as poor connectivity with Delhi and lack of colleges and hospitals in the city. (Manoj Sharma/HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 07, 2023 05:36 PM IST

Rohtak: Haryana’s new education, industrial hub

HT spotlight on lesser-known NRC towns, their rise to becoming cities in their own right, and the challenges that have been brought within

Rohtak is one of Haryana’s fastest growing towns. (Manoj Sharma/HT Photo)
Updated on May 23, 2023 06:19 PM IST

Meerut on cusp of great socio-economic change

HT’s spotlight on lesser-known NCR towns, their rise to becoming cities in their own right, and the changes that have been brought within

Meerut has always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit, has been home to diverse businesses and industries (Manoj Sharma/HT Photo)
Updated on May 08, 2023 01:38 PM IST

Fields to apartments: The silent rise of Haryana’s Sonepat

Over the next few weeks, in a series of stories, HT will turn the spotlight on the lesser known NCR towns, their rise into cities in their own right, and the change that has brought within. The first: Sonepat

Sonepat, an NCR town about 55km from Connaught Place, once known for the Atlas Cycle factory, the dhabas in Murthal, and its high-performance government sports centres, has seen a rapid socioeconomic transformation in the past decade. (Sanjeev Verma/ HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 29, 2023 08:14 PM IST

The eclectic world of Delhi Metro’s lost-and-found

It’s around 1pm, and a sling bag has just been brought to Anil Kumar’s desk at the Delhi Metro’s Lost and Found Office (LFO) at the Kashmere Gate Metro station

Every year, at least 10,000 articles make their way to the Lost and Found Office at the Kashmere Gate Metro Station. Only about 10% of the items here are ever claimed. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 24, 2023 11:39 AM IST

Delhi bookstores turn new chapter as better sales, lower rent push growth

In 2010, Ajay Jain, a travel writer and photographer, opened Kunzum Travel Café in Delhi’s Hauz Khas village

Bahrisons has registered a 15 percent jump in sales at its stores(HT Photo/Sanchit Khanna)
Updated on Jan 18, 2023 06:43 PM IST
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