The board of state-run Coal India (CIL) is looking into the quality issue, amid Power Ministry alleging that stones and boulders are still present in the fuel being supplied to power plants even after introduction of a third-party sampling mechanism.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his budget speech last week had said that stringent mechanism for quality control of coal were being put in place.
"During CIL board meeting, the issue of third party sampling mechanism for coal quality was discussed," a source close to the development said.
"During the meeting, it was also discussed that statutory body like Central Electricity Authority will suggest samplers which would assist in the sampling of coal," the source added.
A system for third party sampling of coal is already in place since October last year at loading points.
The Power Ministry has alleged that stones and boulders were still being dispatched to the power plants.
Incidentally, both power and coal ministries are headed by Piyush Goyal.
"Supply of excessive stones and boulders especially from BCCL (Bharat Coking Coal Limited), a Coal India subsidiary, is a matter of concern. It results in high detention of railway rakes and damage to coal handling system of power plants," said the Power Ministry document.
The mechanism could not address the quality issue and so there is a "need to be done at unloading point," the Power Ministry had said.
The issue of coal quality last year had resulted in a standoff between the country's largest power producer NTPC and the world's largest coal producer Coal India (CIL).
Last year, NTPC had alleged that it was being supplied inferior quality of coal.
This was followed by CIL stopping coal supplies to NTPC's plants saying the power major owed huge dues to the coal PSU.
Besides, NTPC had refused to enter into fuel supply pacts with Coal India.
After government intervened, it was decided that third party mechanism would be introduced to check coal quality.