Home / News / India /  Mumbai power outage due to human error, no proof of Chinese role: Power Minister RK Singh

Union Power Minister RK Singh on Tuesday said that the massive grid failure, which hit Mumbai and surrounding areas on 12 October last year, was "caused by human error and not due to cyber attack".

"There is no evidence to prove that the October 2020 electricity blackout in Mumbai was caused by a cyberattack perpetrated by China or Pakistan," Singh said quoting an investigation report on the blackout.

The Union Power Minister added, "Some people say that the group behind the attacks is Chinese but we don't have evidence. China will definitely deny it."

"Two teams investigated the power outage. One of the teams submitted that cyber attack did happen but they were not linked to the Mumbai grid failure," he said.

Singh went on to say that there were some cyberattacks on the country's northern and southern region load dispatch centres but the malware could not reach the operating system.

Reacting to this, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, "China firmly opposes and cracks down on all forms of cyber attacks. Speculation and fabrication have no role to play on the issue of cyber-attacks. Highly irresponsible to accuse a particular party with no sufficient evidence around."

Meanwhile, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said Maharashtra Cyber Cell's preliminary report says there is evidence that suggests there might have been a cyber-sabotage attempt. "The report has been handed over to state's power minister Nitin Raut," the Maharashtra HM said.

"I will table all the reports on the October 12 Mumbai power outage in the Assembly tomorrow," Raut said.

'Should not politicise cyberattack issue'

"Cyber-attack issue is not just confined to Mumbai but it could spread across the country. We should not politicise this issue," the Maharashtra home minister said.

"I have spoken to Union Minister RK Singh about this. He has sought details about it and said that we should remain alert," Deshmukh said.

Deshmukh's statement came after the Union Power Minister attributed the blackout in Mumbai to human failure and not to a cyberattack.

What exactly happened on 12 Oct, 2020

On 12 October last year, Mumbai faced a massive power outage that lasted for a few hours starting from 10 am. The issue was however resolved by afternoon.

After the power outage, which brought the entire city to a halt for few hours, the Maharashtra government had ordered a probe. Three committees were set up and the MSEB requested the cyber cell to be roped in.

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