Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju on Wednesday said that he was ready to act as a mediator for resolving the Cauvery dispute if the two States agreed.

“I am ready to volunteer my services, free of cost,” he told journalists here. He would even handpick a few expert mediators to help him.

Mr. Katju said mediation required a lot of tact. “You have to keep persisting… be patient.” People must be explained to and educated about the problems. He said he would involve mediation experts such as Sivaram Panchu, Niranjan Bhat and those from the Bangalore Mediation Centre.

Mr. Katju said mediation had given good results with regard to inter-state boundary disputes between Assam and Nagaland. “Though it has not yet been resolved [the dispute], it has given good results.” He said mediation should be taken to a higher level instead of restricting it to resolving matrimonial disputes.

The two States were facing problems of water shortage. People should be made to understand and appreciate each other’s problems, he said.

The Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu should set up a committee of experts to find inexpensive ways of converting seawater into fresh water.