More land acquired in recent years for expanding MRT lines, expressways

Channel NewsAsia 23 Aug 13;

SINGAPORE: The government has acquired more land in recent years, because of projects to build new MRT lines and expand expressways.

Last year, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) acquired 284 commercial and residential properties. This is the highest number in 10 years.

It is also a sharp increase from the 43 acquisitions between 2003 and 2009.

To cope with the increased workload, SLA has hired more staff to handle such cases.

From fewer than 10 officers five years ago, SLA has more than 20 officers now to deal with land acquisitions.

SLA said there were 150 appeals on compensation in the last five years.

It is providing staff with training to help them communicate better with affected tenants and residents.

Nelson Liew, head of land acquisition at SLA, said: "Acquisition is never easy on the land owners and we understand the impact on them, that's why we'll try our best to help them in every way possible to mitigate the impact of acquisition and make it more bearable for them."

- CNA/xq