Bangalore: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Friday asked Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to sit across the table and evolve an amicably acceptable formula on sharing of Cauvery river water.
"Evolving of such a formula by mutual consent is unlikely to be impeded by the ongoing legal battle between the two states and also the fresh legal suits that may arise between them in the wake of the fresh controversy over water sharing", Krishna, a former chief minister of Karnataka, said in a statement issued here.
Krishna, who hails from Cauvery heartland Mandya district, where Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir is located, however, suggested whether Karnataka could ensure release of 4500 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu at Biligundlu guaging station till October 15 and the remaining 4500 cusecs will automatically flow into the neighbouring state from the seepage of water.
"Such a decision would be in the interest of both the states", he said.
Karnataka has refused to accept Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s suggestion as the chairman of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu till October 15, citing acute shortage in storage level of its reservoirs, a decision hailed by farmers and also opposition parties including Congress to which Krishna belongs.
"I am committed to protecting the interest of farmers of Cauvery basin. I express my concern to farmers and also share their anxiety as one of those who belong to Cauvery basin. My concern for farmers is placed above the pseudo sympathy expressed for them", Krishna said.
In the backdrop of monsoon season ending in Karnataka and set to begin in Tamil Nadu, it is advisable to come to an understanding on water-sharing issue, including the formula suggested by him, Krishna said.
Krishna said Karnataka should challenge the CRA decision in the Supreme Court and he would support such a move.