New Delhi, Nov 26: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa should meet her Karnataka counterpart Jagadish Shettar and discuss how to resolve the "sensitive" Cauvery dispute, the Supreme Court stressed.
"Why the two Chief Ministers can't sit together? Give it a try, it is not impossible," the apex court bench of justices Madan B Lokur and DK Jain said today.
Pointing out that "There would be a problem if either of the two sides blinks", the court asked both the chief ministers "to meet in a congenial manner and discuss the issue in the larger interest of farmers" from Karnataka as well as Tamil Nadu.
The bench observed that since meetings of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) cannot possibly be convened every time either state raises a grievance, it is better that the two sides hold dialogue between themselves and come up with an amicable solution to the river water dispute.
"Try to find out a solution through give and take," the court advised Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The bench emphasised that "the chief ministers should not meet just for coffee but they should meet along with their experts to file a solution."
Advocate Fali S Nariman, who appeared on Karnataka's behalf, told the bench that its suggestion is acceptable to the state. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is willing to meet Jayalalithaa, he said.
After Tamil Nadu's counsel said that the state government will decide whether to have such a meeting and he cannot assure anything at present, the bench asked the two chief ministers to meet as soon as possible.
Tamil Nadu had urged the court to order Karnataka to comply with CRA's Sep 19 directive to release 9,000 thousand cubic feet per second (cusecs) of water daily for a fortnight.
The apex court will next take up the matter on Nov 30.