BHOPAL: Former IAS officer and noted urban planner Mahesh Neelkanth Buch passed away at a private hospital here, family sources said.
He was 81.
Widely regarded as the architect of new Bhopal, Buch died of brain stroke and sudden cardiac arrest last evening.
He is survived by wife Nirmala Buch, also a former IAS officer and son Vineet.
His last rites will be performed today, Nirmala, who retired as Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh, said.
Buch, a 1957 batch officer, was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2011.
In his career, he held a number of important positions, including Vice Chairman of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in 1977 and took voluntary retirement from service in 1984.
Born on October 5, 1934, Buch originally hails from Gujarat. After taking VRS, he founded NGO National Centre for Human Settlements and Environment (NCHSE) in Bhopal.
He was also awarded UNEP award for implementation of desertification control programme in 1994-95 and Aga Khan Award for architecture in 1998.
Expressing grief over Buch's demise, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan described him as an "able administrator".
"His contribution in the field of social service remains unforgettable and he has made significant contribution in giving Bhopal a modern look," Chouhan said.
Remembering Buch, state Urban Administration and Development Minister Kailash Vijaywargiya said he always guided the government on matters of urbanisation, which was his favourite subject.