Self-styled tour operators and tourist guides have come up with "Terror Tours" to cash in on the curiosity among tourists and visitors about the sites of last year's attacks in south Mumbai.
According to information with the tourism officials in the city, many unlicensed guides and operators are attracting the gullible tourists and luring them for a 'Terror Tour' at costs ranging from Rs1, 500-2500 per head.
These visits, which are not listed anywhere by any official tourism agency or operators, are patronised by many tourists from the state and elsewhere in the country.
The tourists are picked up by air-conditioned mini-buses or taxis from convenient locations like Churchgate or the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) or even their hotels nearby, and are taken around to Nariman Point, Colaba, then to CST and up to Chowpatty, covering all the 13 sites the Pakistani terrorists attacked on November 26, 2008.
"Yes, we have heard of such alleged guided tours but these are not recognised and are done by fly-by-night operators," said Serena Franklin, president of Tourist Guides Association of Mumbai, which is recognised by the central tourism ministry.
Franklin told IANS that no licensed tour operator could carry out any such unofficial tours or guide people to these terror attack sites without proper clearances.
"Besides the nearly 150 official guides, there are innumerable unlicensed operators who pose as guides and fool many innocent tourists. Taxi-drivers, private bus drivers and cleaners, photographers and even hotel waiters double up as 'guides' and make a quick buck," she said.
The unofficial tour apparently attracts the tourists. The "guides" give them a detailed commentary on the "Terror Tour" starting from the Fishermen's Colony opposite Badhwar Park in Colaba where the 10 Pakistani terrorists landed, the routes they took and a quick tour of all the sites they targeted - all wrapped up in around two hours.
Depending on the clientele, there are multiples tours organised every day and even foreigners patronise these, especially on weekends and holidays.
Some enterprising "guides" also have their fixed photographers at each venue where the tourists can get themselves photographed, either with their own cameras or of the photographer's, for a fee.