SINGAPORE - More pieces of land have been taken over by the Government in recent years as Singapore widens roads and builds new MRT lines and highways.
This has led to growing sums in compensation being paid out to property owners.
And the number of collectors - officers who pound the ground to assuage owners' concerns - has more than doubled.
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has acquired 485 properties over the past five years, up from just 64 in the same period before that. These include everything from small patches of unused land or parking spaces to larger plots such as residential homes.
As the number of pieces of land taken over has grown, so has the compensation bill.
Owners whose property was needed for the Downtown Line and widening of Upper Bukit Timah Road between 2008 and 2010 were given a total of $106 million, according to the SLA.
By contrast, those in the recently acquired Pearls Centre, which is due to make way for the Thomson Line, received $465 million between them.
Meanwhile, the number of collectors employed by the Government has surged from fewer than 10 five years ago to 25 today.