Saturday, August 13, 2022

China-made smart meters in M’laya pose security risk: TMC


Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader, Saket Gokhale has accused the Meghalaya government of compromising India’s national security by installing China-made smart meters in the State.
In a letter to Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Power, Prestone Tynsong, Gokhale said, “On 23.07.2020, Government of India issued an amendment to the General Financial Rules, 2017 through notification number F.No.6/18/2019-PPD which banned bidders from countries that share a land border with India on grounds of national security.”
“However, it seems prima facie that Government of Meghalaya found a way to circumvent the rules by offering the contract to Satnam Global (which is an Indian company) and allowed them to procure the smart meters from China which is in violation of Govt of India rules pertaining to national security,” the TMC spokesperson noted in the letter. The smart meters that are being provided by the company are manufactured by a China based company called Inhemeter with its headquarters at 8/F and 9/F, Software Park, southern hi-tech zone, Nanshan district, Shenzhen, China, are being installed by the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) in the state, Gokhale informed. “May it be noted here that the smart electricity meters being rolled out in Meghalaya contain a SIM card which connects them to the telecom/internet network,” he added. Citing media reports, Gokhale said that over the years there have been several cyber attacks by state backed hackers from China who have shut down power infrastructure in other countries as part of its cyber warfare.
“…it is baffling that the Government of Meghalaya and MeECL still decided to proceed with the installation of China-made smart electricity meters with SIM cards which is also a gross violation of India’s national security policies,” he said, and asked the Meghalaya government whether approval was obtained from the central government to install Chinese smart meters with SIM cards in the state. The TMC leader further inquired whether security audits were conducted and whether the smart meters were tested for backdoor vulnerabilities before the installation process began in Meghalaya.
Whether, with knowledge of this information pertaining to the security risks associated with Chinese smart meters with SIM cards, the Govt of Meghalaya plans to roll back the project and the timeline for the same.”

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