Mumbai Power Outage 2020: Were Chinese Hackers Behind It?

During the summer of June 2020, Indian and Chinese troops came face-to-face in the remote Galwan Valley.T. The battle ended with dozens of soldiers losing their lives. Fast forward four months later when Mumbai, with its population of 20 million, faced a city-wide power outage. The city was experiencing a tough time due to increasing COVID-19 cases and the power outage added to the mayhem faced by the ’city’s people.

While the incident was at first attributed to a standard power failure, a recent New York Times report suggests otherwise. Evidence suggests that the two incidents might be linked and could be part of a Chinese plan to send a warning to India, indicating that the entire country might face similar troubles if it tries to fight China.

The Incident – October 2020

On October 12, 2020, Mumbai faced a massive power outage which outage lasted for about 2 hours in some areas, from 10 am till noon, and 10-12 hours in other areas of central Mumbai.

The power outage brought a halt to train services, while hospitals had to rely on emergency and back-up generators amid the pandemic. The Maharashtra government ordered an investigation and set up three committees to probe into the matter. The Maharashtra Security and Electricity Board requested the cyber cell to become a part of this investigation.

The Energy Minister of the state sent out a video message that said the power outage in Mumbai was due to a grid failure caused by ““technical problems”” while carrying out maintenance work. Adani Power Ltd. and Tata Power Company Ltd., two major power suppliers, said they were also affected because of the power outage.

“Circuit 1 of 400KV GIS center at Kalva-center of MahaTransco was under repair and maintenance, and the load was on Circuit 2. A technical problem in circuit 1 led to problems in power supply to Mumbai and Thane,” Mr. Raut said at the time.

What Were the Problems Faced?

Colaba, Mahim, Bandra, and many other localities in Mumbai and Thane were affected due to the power outage. It brought the local train and metro services to a halt as the city faced a two-hour blackout in the morning. At the time, a senior railway official told the ANI news agency that…