India PM holds Cauvery river water-sharing talks

Protest in Karnataka over the river sharing dispute on 6 October 2011
Image caption The Cauvery water sharing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is a century old

Indian PM Manmohan Singh has held talks with Karnataka state leaders on a dispute over water-sharing with Tamil Nadu state.

The leaders told him about the "grim" situation in the state and "requested him to resolve the problem soon".

There have been days of protests in Karnataka over a court ruling ordering the release of water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu state.

Both states say they need the water for millions of farmers in the region.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court which was to hear an appeal against the order on Monday has deferred the hearing.

Mr Singh had called the Karnataka leaders to Delhi for talks after the dispute led to tension in the state.

Train and bus services have been partially disrupted by protesting farmers.

Karnataka was recently forced to release water after the Supreme Court censured it for not complying with an order from the Cauvery river authority, headed by Mr Singh, to release 9,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water to Tamil Nadu each day until 15 October.

The Cauvery originates in Karnataka and flows into Tamil Nadu. The dispute over sharing its waters dates from the 19th Century during the British rule.

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