Ramesh Babu

Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

Articles by Ramesh Babu

Kerala, TN CMs to jointly inaugurate centenary celebrations of Vaikom Satyagraha

It was a nonviolent protest that took place from 30 March 1924 to 23 November 1925 in the Kingdom of Travancore, now part of Kerala. The movement got a leg up in 1924 after Mahatma Gandhi sent his disciple Vinoba Bhave to Vaikom to help the agitation and in 1925, Gandhiji himself came to Vaikom to participate.

Mahadeva temple in Vaikom (HT Photo/sourced)
Updated on Mar 26, 2023 01:55 PM IST

Classical dance form ‘Kathakali’ gets its own village in Kerala

Nearly 30 years after first raising their demand for the change, a little-known village called Ayroor (South) on the banks of Pamba river in Pathanamthitta district will finally be renamed ‘Kathakali Gramam’

The landmark of the village post office will be rechristened Kathakali Gramam (PO) soon. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 24, 2023 09:10 AM IST

Bishop’s remarks spark political slugfest in Kerala

Thalassery (north Kerala) Arch Bishop of Mar Joseph Pamplani had given an open offering on Sunday that if the Union government raises the natural rubber’s price to ₹300 per kilogram believers will help the Bharatiya Janata Party to elect its first MP from the state. It stirred a hornet’s nest after the Congress and CPI(M) joined hands to list out recent attacks on minority institutions and fate meted out to Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old Jesuit priest, who died in judicial custody two years ago.

Minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan criticised Congress and CPI(M) leaders for attacking Christian leaders (ANI)
Published on Mar 21, 2023 12:36 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kochi civic body plans to file appeal against NGT’s 100 crore fine

The NGT on Saturday pulled up the corporation and the state government for violating the statutory sold waste management rules and orders of the apex court repeatedly

The massive fire and billowing smoke that started at the solid waste dump yard in Kochi’s Brahmapuram on March 2 was controlled by March 14 and the city was filled with toxic fumes forcing more than 1400 people to seek medical aid. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 20, 2023 01:07 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram:

Kochi Corp to file appeal against NGT’s 100 cr fine over Brahmapuram fire

The massive fire and billowing smoke which started on March 2 was finally controlled by March 14 but filled the city with toxic fumes and gas which spread across 30 km and forced over 1,400 people to seek medical aid while dozens fled

Brahmapuram dumpyard fire which began March 2 was controlled by March 14 (File Photo)
Published on Mar 19, 2023 04:36 PM IST

Fire issue rocks Kerala assembly proceedings, CM maintains silence

During the proceedings, even though the Congress-led opposition raised serious allegations against the government and the Kochi corporation, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan did not respond.

Kochi: Fire and rescue personnel at the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant, in Kochi (PTI)
Published on Mar 14, 2023 12:26 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

With elderly population increasing, demand for care homes grows in Kerala

High migration rate, increased life expectancy and proliferating micro-family pattern leave many elders high and dry and for many, such homes are turning a boon -- those who can afford can live gracefully till the last

Going by the current demographic transition, the number of senior citizens in Kerala is expected to increase 23% by 2036, according to a study. (HT Photo)
Published on Mar 13, 2023 12:04 PM IST

Protests erupt in Kochi as toxic fumes from garbage fire shroud city for 11th straight day

On Sunday morning, the AQI was above 200 and officials in the pollution control board said it may cross 300 by evening.

The Brahmapuram garbage dump in Kochi. (ANI)
Published on Mar 13, 2023 05:17 AM IST

Kochi fire: People deserting city as toxic smoke, fumes wear them down

Stating that the government’s main objective is to avert a pandemic, health minister Veena George on Saturday said 800 people have sought medical aid so far, and the state will begin a door-to-door health survey from Tuesday

Firefighters engage in dousing fire at solid waste dumping yard in Brahmapuram in Kochi (Twitter/@IN_HQSNC)
Published on Mar 12, 2023 04:00 PM IST

Kochi fire: A week on, smoke yet to settle

The fire that broke out at the solid waste dump yard last Thursday was controlled by Sunday but there was no let up in smoke emanating from it that had spread over 30km radius.

Fire and rescue personnel at the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant, in Kochi. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 10, 2023 12:52 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Brahmapuram fire: Residents gasp for air as Kochi reels amid inferno aftermath

The fire that broke out at the solid waste dump yard in Brahmapuram last Thursday was controlled by Sunday but there was no let up in smoke emanating from it that had spread over 30km radius

The air quality index (AQI) in the city ever since the fire broke out stood at over 300. (Twitter | Southern Naval Command)
Updated on Mar 09, 2023 05:17 PM IST

Kerala drops move to tax vacant houses

Many NRIs said the proposal to impose additional tax on vacant houses was a rude jolt and welcomed government’s rollback decision. But people who supported the move said it was necessary to check the fragile environment and people who build big houses as status symbols should be penalised

Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal denied reports that the decision to impose additional tax on vacant houses was taken on the pressure of the real estate lobby. (Vivek Nair/HT Photo )
Published on Mar 02, 2023 01:16 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

State will not impose tax on vacant houses: Kerala finance minister

In its 2023-24 state budget, the state had said that it would revise the tax rates on properties and also levy additional tax on its huge number of vacant houses. The proposed tax on vacant houses had invited widespread criticism, especially from the non-residents

Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal (ANI Photo)
Published on Mar 01, 2023 06:55 PM IST

As number of vacant houses mounts in Kerala

With high migration rate and ageing population, the repercussion is quite visible in the state.

A vacant house in state capital Thiruvananthapuram (Picture taken by Vivek Nair)
Published on Feb 26, 2023 12:17 AM IST

Kerala CM’s relief fund misuse case: Probe agency seeks action against officials

As the VACB intensified its investigation more irregularities came to light. In Kollam district ₹4 lakh was given to an applicant whose house was “severely damaged” in a natural disaster but officials found his house was in good condition, another senior official said

After examining details of disbursal from the Kerala Chief Minister’s disaster relief fund, the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau director said cheating and fund diversion were found. (PTI)
Published on Feb 25, 2023 01:16 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

ED backs up claim of larger nexus in Kerala case with WhatsApp chats

The chats, allegedly retrieved by investigators from Swapna Suresh’s phone, were reproduced by ED in its remand application to a Kochi court

Kochi: Kerala chief mnister Pinarayi Vijayan's former principal secretary M Sivasankar who was remanded to five-day ED custody by a PMLA Court, in Kochi, on Wednesday. (PTI)
Published on Feb 16, 2023 07:11 PM IST

Kerala CM’s former secretary M Sivasankar in ED custody for 5 days

M Sivasankar, former principal secretary to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was arrested on Tuesday in a case related to the alleged kickbacks in the state government’s Life Mission project

M Sivasankar (middle) was retired from the service last month. (ANI)
Published on Feb 15, 2023 06:16 PM IST

Rahul attacks PM Modi over Parliament ruckus, Adani

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allegations of fraud by the Adani Group, asking how references at the embattled tycoon made in a parliamentary speech could be seen as an insult to the prime minister.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (ANI)
Published on Feb 14, 2023 02:02 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Fuel cess imposed to help poor, will stay: Kerala CM

Talking to the media in the state capital, the CM said cess was introduced to meet the welfare pension of 60 lakh people in the “backdrop of the Union government’s attempts to stifle the state by cutting down its plan allocation and putting a cap on borrowing limit”.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan (PTI)
Updated on Feb 10, 2023 05:08 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

No cut in proposed cess on petrol, diesel in Kerala

There were strong speculations that the minister will reduce it to ₹1 but he made it clear that the state “cannot afford such a decision at this juncture”.

Police detain Youth Congress members during their protest over the Kerala budget, in Kochi. (PTI)
Published on Feb 09, 2023 12:24 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Transman gives birth to baby in Kerala

Even though Zahad had undergone breast removal surgery and was waiting to remove her uterus to become a man, for which Zahad was already undergoing heavy hormone treatment,however, they both decided to put the treatment on hold and take chance at becoming parents.

Zahad and Ziya Paval, on Wednesday took to social media to announce the arrival of their baby. (HT)
Updated on Feb 09, 2023 12:14 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala startup’s smart solution to mounting parking woes

Started by Kerala-based young entrepreneurs in the US in 2015, way.com is a one-stop destination for all auto needs, which is now employing more than 250 professionals in its backup office in Thiruvananthapuram and another 100 in the US.

Started as a small set-up, the firm, which provides a bouquet of auto services, says it has seven million customers in the US and planning to spread its wings to many countries, including India.
Published on Feb 06, 2023 12:07 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala serial killings: CFL tests find no trace of cyanide in four bodies

The police said it was not a setback because in the earlier tests in the state traces were found only in two and it was difficult to find such evidence in old cases

A woman, Jolly Joseph, allegedly killed six of her relatives by poisoning them in a span of 14 years in the infamous Koodathayi serial killings in Kerala’s Kozhikode district. (File Photo)
Updated on Feb 05, 2023 04:33 PM IST

Kerala budget tabled; fuel, liquor set to cost more

Finance minister K N Balagopal projected a revenue receipt of ₹1.35 lakh crore and expenditure of ₹1.76 lakh crore, as he presented the state budget for 2023-24 financial year in the legislative assembly

Kerala finance minister proposed a social security cess of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2 per litre on the sale of petrol and diesel (Shutterstock)
Published on Feb 03, 2023 11:59 PM IST

Kerala budget: Cess on fuel, vehicles, liquor

Finance minister K N Balagopal blamed the Union government for cash-strapped Kerala’s financial situation

Finance minister K N Balagopal. (ANI)
Updated on Feb 03, 2023 04:40 PM IST

Kerala lawyer booked over bribery claims

Earlier, the police sought the opinion of the advocate general on whether a case could be registered against the lawyer, who is also the president of the Kerala high court advocates association and got a green signal. On Monday, the Bar Council of Kerala also served a show-cause notice to him

Police said the FIR was filed against the lawyer under Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. (HT Archives)
Published on Feb 02, 2023 12:25 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala HC recalls bail order amid row over lawyer’s bribery claims

The high court registrar has collected details of cases represented by Kidangoor and submitted them to the police.

Senior high court lawyer Saiby Jose Kidangoor, who is also the president of the Kerala high court advocates’ association, has been accused of demanding huge sum of money from his clients, including some high-profile names, claiming he could “influence judges”.
Published on Jan 30, 2023 12:10 AM IST

Kerala forest department finds 15 pellets in captured elephant Dhoni’s body

At least 15 gun pellets were found inside the body of a wild elephant that was captured in Kerala’s Palakkad district on Sunday, state forest minister AK Saseendran said, adding that most of the pellets have been removed by the veterinarians of the forest department

The captured elephant was named Dhoni after a village in Kerala’s Palakkad district where residents accused it of wreaking havoc. (HT Photo)
Published on Jan 26, 2023 11:44 PM IST

Kerala: 15 pellets found inside captured wild elephant’s body

A forest officer, who did not want to be named, said most of the pellets were not so deep suggesting they were fired from country-made or air guns

In view of rising animal attacks, the government said it will approach the Supreme Court with a plea to control wild population. (PTI (Representative))
Published on Jan 26, 2023 03:44 PM IST

Kerala HC stays conviction of Lakshadweep’s former MP

On Wednesday, the single bench of Justice Becchu Kurian Thomas extended the relief to all four convicted in the 2009 case.

On January 11, the Kavaratti district sessions court convicted former Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faizal, along with three others, for attacking with an intention to kill a Congress worker during a violence in the island ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Published on Jan 26, 2023 01:10 AM IST
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